tv Tonight From Washington CSPAN December 25, 2009 6:30pm-11:00pm EST
for resolutions. tensions threaten to add to the devastation. we will work to identify ways that we and our partners can in hand human security while focusing greater attention on efforts to prevent genocide elsewhere. we have to remain focused on women's rights and responsibilities. human rights are women's rights. this is far from being realized. there is no place that it epitomizes the very difficult and tragic circumstances facing women.
i was in the epicenter of one of the most violent and chaotic regions on earth. when i was there, i met with victims of sexual violence. i met with refugees driven by their home. i talk to those working to end the conflict. i saw the best in the worst of humanity in a single day. they were brutalized and that all the heroism of the men and women themselves of those working to repair bodies and spirits. there on the front lines on the struggle for human rights. they saw the courage and tenacity.
those aspects, accountability, pragmatism, partnering, keeping a wide focus where rights are at stake -- will help build a foundation that helps enable people to stand and rise above poverty and disease and secure their rights under democratic governance. we must light a fire of human potential to access to education and economic opportunity. when a person has food and education but not the freedom to discuss and debate with fellow citizens, he is denied the right he deserves. when a person is 200 or sick to work or boat or worship, she is denied the life she deserves.
freedom is not come and half measures. we know that the champions for human potential have never had it easy. we make all rights in a ruble -- in alienable. taking action to make them row requires tough choices. we will not always agree on what course of action fits that description. we can learn from the instances in which we have fallen short. they are proof of how it
difficult progress is. we do not accept the argument by some that progress in certain places is impossible. we know progress happens. indonesia moved from repressive roles to democracy in an open democracy. they ushered in multi-party democracy without violence. there is no better example than the progress made in central and eastern new eager -- europe. while the work in front of us is daunting, we face the future together with partners on every continent, partners in database
in notes -- faith based organizations and social irresponsible corporations. from india, one that continues to use democratic processes and principles to perfect its union, of $1.1 billion. their promise to govern according to the five greens./ it provide a recipe for responsible governments that contrasts starkly with the unnecessary zimbabwe. this is not just about what we do. it is about who we are. we cannot be the people we are, people who believe in human rights if we opt out of this fire. believing in human rights means committing ourselves to action. , that to the process for rights
that apply everywhere to everyone, that rights will be able to protect and in able human dignity, we also sign up for the hard work of making that promise a reality. those of you here spent time studying the cases of what we tried to do in human rights. you see the shortcomings and shortfall. we need your ideas. we need your criticism. we need your analysis of how we can slowly and steadily expand the circle of opportunity and
rights to every single person. it is work that we take so it seriously. it is work that we know we do not have all the answers for. it is the work that america signed up to do. we will continue day-by-day, inch by inch, to try to make whatever progress is humanly possible. thank you all very much. fo>> thank you for an inspiring
and wonderful speech. it made me proud to be an american. theit made me proud to be at georgetown, too. we have time for three questions. we thought because so many of you have abandoned your final papers to be here, students, that we would take those questions from our students. let me ask you. we have several people along the side with microphones. here is someone with a microphone. we have one more. let's have a first question from
a student. that does not look like a student. here. let's get the young people here. we are not discriminating. which is one day, approach to thing. >> thank you so much. he spoke about the situation in it you got a. could you talk a little bit more about how the united states can protect the rights of the people in areas where the rights are not respected? >> yes. over this past year, we have elevated into our human rights dialogue and a public statement a very clear message about protecting the rights of the lgbt community worldwide. we are particularly concerned about some of the specific cases that have come to our attention of around the world. there have been organized
efforts to kill and maim gays and lesbians in some countries that yes spoken out about. we have conveyed their very strong concerns about their government, not that they were government fully implemented. the government needed a much greater attention to the kinds of abuses that we have seen. we are deeply concerned about the stories coming out of a run. in large measure, we think to the response to the election that there have been abuses committed with in the detention facilities and elsewhere that we are deeply concerned about.
there was a situation in a gondola not only criminalize, said shakti, but -- in you gone dead and not only criminalizes homosexuality, but attaches the death penalty to it. it has a lot of public support. we do this as a serious potential violation. it is clear that across the world that this is a new frontier about how we protect the community. it is at the top of our lives. we see many instances where there is a very serious assault on the safety.
we think it is important for the united states to stand against that. >> thank you for being here. i'm a graduate student here. i want to witness what happened. it was an incredible moment. now the six months has passed, what can the united states to do to balance our support of the human rights activists and the demonstrators with our agenda regarding international security? >> it is a balancing act. the most important balancing act is to make sure that our very strong opposition to what is going on inside iraq and it is not in any way undermine --
inside a run it is not in any way undermine the legitimacy of what has taken hold. this is one of those good examples of a hardball. after the election and the reaction that began almost immediately by people who felt the election was in dallas, it put this in a position of seriously considering what is the best way we can support those who are putting their lives on the live by going into the street. we wanted to convey clear support, but we did not want the attention shifted from the legitimate concerns of the united states. we have nothing to do with the spontaneous reactions that grew up in response to the behavior of the i iranian government. it has been a delicate walk. i think that the activists know that we support them.
we encourage the communication of what is going on. they knew there was a lot of communication going on. it was unconnected -- they have planned some kind of lapse in service to do something on their system. you can tell i have no idea what they are doing. [laughter] i do not know twitter from tweeter. i will be honest with you. these young technical people at our state department called twister in said do not take twitter down right now. whatever you are going to do, we boat or what ever it is -- [laughter]
people depend -- are depending upon it. we think that pursuing an agenda and of not -- of non- proliferation is an issue. what can be worse than nuclear material or weapon being in the hands of either a state or a non state that would be used to intimidate and threaten thand destroyed? we see a continuum. pursuing what we think is in the national security interest of the united states and countries in europe in the middle east is also a human rights issue. we do not want to be in an either or position. are we going to pursue non- proliferation or are we going to support the demonstrators inside iran? we will do goes to the best of
our ability to get a result that will further the cause we are seeking to support. >> one final question in the back. >right there. with the the red. a christmas tree. >> thank you i am wondering what -- what you see the role of artists doing in helping to promote human rights? i had the privilege earlier this summer to hear the playwright speaker in one of the senate and buildings. i wondered how use of creative practice amplifying policy. >> that is a wonderful question, because i think the arts and artists are one of our most
effective tools in reaching beyond in through repressive regimes and giving hope to people. it was a very effective tool during the cold war. i have had so many eastern europeans tell me that it was an american music and literature, american poetry, that kept them going. i remember when he came to the white house during my husband and administration. i said, who do like to entertain? i do not know who use going to say. he said l ou reed. it does his music who is so important for us. you could name many other american artists who have traveled. we are going to try to increase
the number of exchanges we do so that we can get people into settings where they will be able to directly communicate. there is something about the american government sending somebody to make that case, which i think is very important to our commitment. artists can bring to life in major medical way some of the challenges we face. we mentioned women in the condo. i remember years ago seeing a play about women in bosnia. it was so gripping. i still see the faces of those women who were pulled from their homes and separated from their husbands, often reached -- raped and left for garbage. i think artists can illustrate better than any speech then i
can give that to the spirit of that lives within each of us is not confined. no matter how hard they trial, there is no way that you can deprive people from the feelings inside their souls. artists can give voice to that. it is so important in places where people feel forgotten in marginalized and depressed to have that glimmer of that there is a better future and a better way. this is a great area for private foundations and for artists
themselves. it is interesting. in today's world, we are given so much information. we are living in information overload time. we need ways of cutting through all of that. we are living in that media environment. for i always took a television station or a newspaper interview somebody who is claiming that the earth is round, you have to put someone in from the flat earth society. that is fair and balanced. [laughter] [applause] what we have to do is look for those ways of breaking through all of that.
i think that the power of the cards to do that is so enormous. we must never forget about the role it does play in getting life to the aspirations of people around the world. thank you all very much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> can ask you to be seated for a few minutes while secretary clinton departs?
later, historians discuss the lives and senator ted kennedy. -- lives of senator ted kennedy. >> on tomorrows "washington journal" we will talk to clark and urban -- clark kent ervin and a look at the obama family's christmas vacation in hawaii. it begins at 7:00 a.m. eastern every day on c-span. beginning monday, a rare glimpse into america's highest courts their unprecedented on the record conversations with 10 supreme court justices about the court, in their words, and the history of the buildings. five days of interviews with supreme court justices starting monday at 8:00 p.m. eastern. get your own copy on dvd. it is part of the american icons
collection, a free disc set, including programs on the white house and capitol, with the many items available at c- span.org.store. >> the chair did the initial policy review of afghanistan and pakistan. he now gets a historical perspective of the past eight years of american presence in the region. the president's decision to send additional troops and the prospects for deceiving the insurgency. this hourlong top came at a recent conference hosted by the jamestown foundation. >> bruce is well-suited for all
of this. today you will be delighted to know that to not only speak for 10 minutes, but he is a 40 minute plan. there'll be an in-depth opportunity to hear what his thoughts on the strategy in afghanistan are. fohe is a senior fellow. he retired in 2006 after 30 years of service to the central intelligence agency. he was a senior advisor in the middle east. he was a negotiator of several israeli peace summits, including camp david. here is the secretary of defense in south asia and a senior advisor at the north atlantic treaty organization of a
brussels. in 2009, president obama asked him to chair a review of american policy toward afghanistan and pakistan. the results were announced in a speech on march 22, 2009. the author of this book and the leadership and ideology -- he will be available for a book signing in the back. he will promise to save you were siepi purchase the boat. he will sign it. it is coming out in paperback. this is your last chance to get one in hard copy. he will be available for that briefly. at the top he will take the questions in answers. i would like to turn the floor over tubers.
>> thank you very much for that kind introduction. it is an honor for me to be here today. the jamestown foundation has consistently provided americans and people around the world is some of the best analysis of what is going on. it is a very special pleasure to have this chance to be the keynote speaker. 10 months ago, i was minding my own business in my home on the eastern shore of maryland when the phone rang and a voice came on in said, "please, hold for the president." a couple of seconds later, on came a voice, "hello, it is
barack." i got an offer like an offer in the mafia movies -- you cannot say no to it. the offer was to come in and share a 60 the review on american policy toward afghanistan and pakistan and toward al qaeda. as the president explained, this is the single most important policy and national security issue that he will face as president of perhaps background is in order. they ask me about the fight to be an advisor to the campaign.
i agreed on one condition. i did not want to get a job for myself. i went home that night and told my wife that this will be a lot of fun. there was no way barack obama would become president of the united states. with that prediction in mind as i go forward. what i would like to do is review the key judgments of the strategic review that i chaired, talk a little bit about what has happened in the interim and the president's announcement last week. . .
he inherited a disaster in afghanistan and pakistan. it began with a brilliant military success that virtually -- at virtually no cost. for seven years, the previous administration did heard about afghanistan and pakistan and did not act. -- the administration dithered. an insurgency which should have never been allowed it to grow now threatens the survival of the karzai government in afghanistan and threatens to defeat the north atlantic treaty organization's first ground operation ever. worse than that, the disaster in
afghanistan is destabilizing south and central asia on a whole. the situation the president inherited is bad and has gotten worse in the 10 months since then. we have no time machine and cannot go back and do this over. we can wish of that, but it is not realistic. what is the situation today? let me start with al qaeda. we would not have 70,000 american troops in afghanistan and 35,000 en route is not for 9/11. what is the status of al qaeda today? i will summarize what we have done to them in one sentence. like any one sentence summary, it lacks subtlety, nuance, but if done right it gets to the point.
in eight years we have succeeded in moving at their core leadership, their senior operational planners and their propagation no insurer from candy bar, afghanistan, to an unknown location -- khandahar to afghanistan. that is not to diminish the hard work of our soldiers, intelligence officers, are diplomats, our allies who are fighting. it is not to diminish the accomplishments. the fundamental fact is that all qaeda to date remains a deadly enemy for the united states of america and our allies. it is the first truly global terrorist organization in history. its reach and scope in the last eight years is almost breathtaking when you think about from algiers to
washington, from bali to madrid, is organization has struck again and again and again around the world. it has developed franchises, circuits, has acquired allies to increase its reach. it has become more than a terrorist organization and become an idea. it has created a narrative which inspires a small minority of muslims to carry out acts of mass violence. most of its attacks are indiscriminate, but it is also demonstrated to strike with great discrimination against targets like the un headquarters in baghdad and one month ago against the deputy minister of the interior in saudi arabia.
we see its reach in the united states today both direct and indirect. the afghan american arrested by the fbi in the colorado demonstrated the direct connection. what happened in fort hood it demonstrated the indirect connection of the narrative and ideology of the global islamic jihad. today the only sustained, significant pressure on the core of qaeda comes from between 30,000-60,000 feet in the air from the grounds of predators and reapers. -- from the drones. the have proven highly successful against a limited range of targets in a limited geography. and have to some extent, and it is hard to know if you are not a member of al qaeda, disrupted.
they are a tactic and not a strategy. it is like attacking one bee at a time. it is ironic. eight years after torah borrow, osama bin lawton is the voice we hear -- eight years after tora bora, bin laden is the voice we hear. he could be in the room next door as far as we know. last week, the bbc put out a report poorly sourced that he was in afghanistan in february. what was notable about the report was not how good it was but that how rare we even get that reports about where he is.
the second thing i would suggest to you about of qaeda today is that in afghanistan and pakistan it is part of a much larger syndic it of a terrorist organizations within which it is embedded. what do i mean by that? the afghan town, the pakistan talent and -- the afghan and pakistan caliban -- taliban -- a whole bunch of other groups whose eight -- whose names are interchangeable but we know are the same basic characters are a syndicate of terror. there are not a monolith. they do not have one single leader or agenda. they cooperate with each other. individuals within these movements move back and forth between organizations. if they do not respect what we
tried to impose on them. most of all, none of them in eight years had been willing to turn on al qaeda and give up its core leadership. what is remarkable when you look at it is that more than any other individual, is omar that they pledge allegiance to. he claims to be commander of the faithful. a title which, if you think about it, shows a man with a remarkable ego. "commander of the faithful"of a 1.6 billion muslims? i am very skeptical we can negotiate. i am skeptical we can negotiate with someone who has an inflated sense of his own importance. al qaeda today is embedded in a larger syndicate of terror which is why it is so hard to go after
it. within the syndicate of terror, i would suggest to you today that karzai is the single most dangerous element. they showed when you're go in mumbai. as we are learning about this, its global reach is probably also something to worry about. the nisei a few words about afghanistan. you can also summarize what we have done in afghanistan in one sentence and where we are today. we are losing the war in afghanistan, but it is not yet lost. i hope. general mcchrystal's report courtesy of bob woodward, you all have an urgent deave to read. at the key hit the nail on the
head. he got it exactly right. -- i think he hit the nail on the head. i think you should read the amex which talks about detention facilities in afghanistan in which he says we no longer control of the detention facilities in which we are keeping captured insurgents. they are defacto under the control of al qaeda and caliban. war record that takes place in those detention facilities than anywhere else in afghanistan today. -- they are under the control of al qaeda and the taliban. when you lose control of these camps you are in a deep hole. every major statistic we have it demonstrates the momentum is entirely with the taliban. bob gates reiterated that several times in his statements last week on the hill. it is not yet lost.
we do not face in afghanistan nationalist uprising. what we face in afghanistan is a postulant insurgency which is confined to the ethnic community. the soviets face a national uprising. virtually the entire country was in the opposition to soviet occupation. soviet behavior reinforced that opposition. we face an insurgency which is, for the most part, confined to the postulant community. by definition, that means the majority of afghans do not favor of them. we know from reliable polling that the majority of them do not want to see a return. no one in their right mind would want to go back to living in a medieval hell that omar created in the 1900 -- 1990's.
thirdly, let me talk about pakistan. there are today the strategic prize in this part of the world as well as the most dangerous country in the world. why do i say that? all of the things that should worry americans about the future of the world in the 21st century come together in pakistan in a unique and combustible way. nuclear war and peace, proliferation of nuclear technology, terrorism, the future of islam, the future of democracy in the of the lot -- in the islamic world, the relationship between military and civil society. all of them are in that country. the had the fastest growing nuclear arsenal in the world
today. -- they have the fastest growing nuclear arsenal. it is the world's second largest muslim country and yet its government is teetering on the brink of collapse. pakistan is trying to make the transition from a military dictatorship to something pakistan is hoped will look like -- something pakistanis pulte looks like democracy. this is the fourth time they have tried this transition. we have to believe in the triumph of hope over experience to believe this will be successful. today's government appears to have a very limited shelf life. he may stay on as a figurehead, but power is slipping away from him every day. the alternatives are not particularly bright either. we may see a return to sharif
whose two previous times as prime minister should not fill you with confidence that pakistan will be moving in the right direction. we do not get to choose who their leaders are. when we have tried to, we have usually had brought brigitte buyer's remorse. -- we have usually had a virus remorse. they have a dynamic, confusing, and complex relationship with the syndicate of terrorism that i mentioned earlier. they either created or was the midwife for many of these organizations. it retains very close links with some of them, -- it has been a pass a supporter of omar most of the last seven years. armen tenge threatened it with being thrown back into the stone age.
-- armitage threatened. it is very hard for most western minds to put your head around. it is today very much at war with parts. this is a serious conflict. the attacks demonstrate that this war is not going particularly well with the pakistani army. if it's set -- if it spreads south, it may feel an economic deathblow to pakistan. why does pakistan have such a complex relationship? because of its obsession with india. the army believes and has believed for 60 years that asymmetric warfare is part of its tactics for defeating the indians. it has not succeeded. it has not worked. his view remains deeply
entrenched in significant parts of the officer corps and elite. in short, the state of afghanistan could not be greater. the future of al qaeda, of the nato alliance, of possibly nuclear war and peace in south asia, all of these issues are coming together. on the 27th of march, obama focused american forces in the combat zone on disrupting, dismantling, and defeating al qaeda and destroying the sanctuary along the afghanistan-pakistan border. it was clear that while there was a specific mission, to get there we had to stabilize afghanistan and pakistan. that is a much broader mission. the reviews i gave to the
president which he endorsed had 20 major recommendations and 180 sub-recommendations and i will not go into them. i want to stress this point. this is resource intensive. this is going to come with a big cost. to send one american soldier to afghanistan for one year costs $1 million. if you think this cost is it to scale, forget it. to send 30,000 that will cost more than $30 million. it does not get cheaper sending more troops. the non-military side is expensive as well. this legislation triples assistance to afghanistan to more than $1.50 billion per year.
wow, that is a lot of money. now they are saying, big deal, we spend that much on a general motors in 30 minutes. over 15 years that is $15 billion and it will make them the largest single suppository of american economic assistance in the world outside of afghanistan and iraq. what happened in the eight months from march 27th until his speech last week at west point? there are two things. first, on the military side, we had an unprecedented event, or virtually unprecedented, strategically because of the calls upon the commander to come up with an operational plan for a comprehensive counterinsurgency strategy in southern and eastern afghanistan.
for reasons that i do not know, mckiernan was judged to be the wrong man for the job. he was fired by secretary gates. that was a big thing. the last time we fired a battlefield commander during wartime was 1951. the issue then was whether or not to use nuclear weapons against communist china. i do not know what general mckiernan did. we lost two months of his time and we had to take three months to get general mcchrystal comfortable on the ground and to get his recommendations. instead of an operational plan getting delivered in may and was in august. in the interim, the military situation deteriorated sharply. from the president's standpoint support for the war in the
democratic party and on the hill dropped through the floor. what had been a good war one year ago was now just like every other war, a bad one. skepticism about the war had become widespread among the president's supporters. the second thing that happened was on the political side. the expectation in march was that we would be able to work with the then afghan government and the international community to produce something that would look like a legitimate and credible presidential election. instead, we had a fiasco followed by a disaster. no one can pretend that this afghan presidential election was legitimate or credible. in the first round, karzai supporters produced 1 million
fraudulent ballots. that is a lot even by the standards of a florida or illinois. [laughter] this is cheating on a global scale. he got caught and he got away with it. i am not sure how diligent man the government looks through the eyes of the afghans, but it looks illegitimate through the eyes of americans and our european and non-european partners. this administration has to bear some of the responsibility for this. it did not happen on the bush's watch. behavior towards the election was like the famous of the art in the headlights. you could see the problem coming, but we seemed mesmerized until it was run over. again, we do not have a time machine and cannot go back and fix this. we have to work with president karzai.
we may find, and in retrospect, that this was the fatal blow. we do not know that yet, and i think we can yet turn this around. mrs. clinton now has her date for the next three years. she will be managing mr. karzai. she needs to avoid demonizing, temper tantrums, and try to bring out the best in karzai. where are we going from here? let me offer you three observations. first, this is a bold gamble. what the president is to has embarked upon today has no guarantee of success. there are all kinds of things that may fail. trying to build an afghan army and police force may be a lot harder, and i suggest will be a
lot harder, and we think. trying to reverse the taliban and momentum will be difficult. for sure, casualties are going to go up. domestic dissent, here and and other nato countries, over this war is winding a stronger and harder. there are several potential game changers that could change everything, literally in a matter of minutes. another 9/11 attack inside the united states does not have to bring down two of the largest buildings in the world to be significant that comes out of pakistan will be a game changer. the president of the united states will not simply be able to call up and say do something about this. another mumbai attacked coming
out of pakistan will also be a game changer. the indian government's capacity to absorb mass casualty attacks, i suspect, has been reached. they will not send someone to islamabad the next time. the second thing i would say is that, as hard as it is, it is the best of the bad options and have today. we really only had two other options. one was to cut and run. we can define that in a lot of different ways, downsize the mission, readjust the mission, but all of them come down to cutting and running in one way or another. i think the president wisely ruled that out from the beginning. if we are defeated in
afghanistan by the taliban it will be a global game changer. the global reverberations of that in the islamic world will be enormous and no more so than in pakistan. thirdly, this issue is now going to consume this presidency which is why it took them 92 days to come to a conclusion because they do not like the answer. this will be the issue, the foreign policy issue, that the congress of the united states is judged upon less than one year from now. other issues may outweigh it, the economy, but this will be the foreign policy issue that people look to. it is going to need to be explained to the american people again and again, why they
are sending their sons and daughters to the other side of the planet to fight a war which has been going on longer than any war in american history. it is going to have to explain how we intend to win the war and how we hope to be able to get out of it. that will mean political energy, capital, and the most precious thing in any white house, the time of the president that will have to be devoted to this issue. warsh consume presidencies. this war stands on the verge of consuming this presidency. the last thing i will say, one final note, the good news in all of this, i generally believe we will note in july, august 2011 whether this strategy works. why do i say that? by then we will have had the additional forces for six months, for more than one year,
and we will have a found out whether we can break the momentum of the taliban and will find out how pakistan reacted to all of this. we will have found out whether we can build an afghan national security force. we will not have achieved victory. the and will not be in sight, but we will at least know whether we have a strategy that has a promise of success. if it does, i would suggest to you that there will be very, very few american soldiers coming home in the summer of 2011. if it does not work then we will face the very, very difficult decision of owning a to that and deciding where we go next. i sure hope he does not call me that day. thank you for your attention. [applause]
>> we have plenty of people raising their hands. does anyone have a question? all right. you are the man. why don't you let him? sorry. >> thank you for the top. i would like to ask a question. if we use the cut and run strategy, do you recommend any psychological tactics to make the enemy feel defeated? we can still do a cut and run as long as we are covering this with proper psychological tactics that can it -- that can give them a feeling of defeat.
>> nothing springs to mind immediately as to how we can turn a retreat into a victory. there are various levels of cut and run. we do not have to completely give of. we can say we are afghan-izing the war quickly. we can hope the government we leave survives. after all, the communist government in afghanistan al lived the soviet union, barely. it's not a parallel, we want to spend a lot of time thinking about it. i do not think there is a downsizing the mission alternatives. if we go to appear counter- terrorism, it will not work.
as an intelligence professional who spent a great deal of time trying to persuade people to commit treason, they will not do it if they do not think you're going to be around to give them the check when they come back from their mission. it does not work that way. >> this morning, ambassador benjamin gave an end -- gave an interesting talk. during the course of the 15 minutes he failed to use three words that you used in the first five minutes which were global islamic jihad. to what level was this broader ideological struggle, how this resonates within the current ministration? it seemed to be a hesitancy or push back on looking at the problem through that lens. >> on like dan, i have the liberty of saying whatever i want to say. -- been unlike da -- unlike dan.
the simplest answer is that i think this administration understands that this is a battle of ideas and the narratives. it has to come up with a counter-narrative to the narrative of the global islamist jihad. -- it is more less created over the last decade or so. the best proof of that is the president's speech in cairo. that speech in some ways it was addressed exactly to them. what is the narrative of the global islamist jihad? the short version is the united states is now a crusading power that is trying to impose its will on the moslem world by dividing the world up into
smaller states which it can manipulate -- bids will on leave muslim world. what does barack obama say in cairo? what is his opening line? bin"we are not and imperialists colonial power. we are revolutionary state. we were born against an empire." it was a great speech. i do not think anyone disputes that. the problem is going to be following that up. the count -- the counter- narrative has to be punctuated with real things. they have proceeded to do that in some places and they are struggling in others. in the battlefield of the narratives, the israeli-arab of battlefield, they are having a difficult time. they do not have partners. that makes moving forward very
hard. i believe i am convinced that they understand the central role of the war of ideology. >> i am studying at the university of maryland. are really enjoyed your speech. i wanted to make a comment. about my country afghanistan, you talk about the elections rate i was there during the elections and was working directly on the elections. we were seeing how things were being arranged on the forefront.
everybody was watching that. nobody was -- and we could see that this was a -- this would be the consequence of the election. it is not a big deal in the eyes of afghanistan because it was the second election in the history of our country. we are used to it. they're working the kinks out. right now, we have to obviously find a way to work with the president. the best thing we can do is to push our president to bring the right people in the door. secondly, with regards to the engagement of the united states in afghanistan, i should say that we obviously know that people talk about eight years of engagement in afghanistan,
but i am telling you that it has not been eight years of the engagement. it has been one year and a few months of engagement beginning in 2002-2003 when they went to iraq. since then, we were seeing that all the problems, all of the issues that were taking us into failure and getting us closer to the taliban, we were just watching. i hope -- i wanted to put -- >> can you ask a question please? do you have a question? >> i just wanted to finish my statement by saying that we have the chance to succeed in
afghanistan because we have the will of our people on our side. thank you very much. >> to comment briefly, i agree with what you said. karzai's problem is more here than there. i agree with everything you said about the impact of the war on iraq and this venture in afghanistan. do you have a question over here? with the microphone, please. >> i am a journalist. you contrasted the situation in afghanistan with the situation facing the russians, soviets before. i hate to ask this question,ñr
but he begged it with the comparison. the comparison that is often made is the situation obama is facing is what we faced with vietnam. you know the question. >> the ghost of a vietnam haunts this administration and walks to the halls every day. it walks to the corridors of the united states congress constantly. afghanistan in 2009 is not vietnam in 1965 or even 1961. it is a very different situation. we were attacked. the most successful foreign attack on the united states of america, bar none, was the attack on our capital in 1814 which was carried out from afghanistan. those who did that are plotting
to day a repeat performance. in 2006, on the anniversary of september 11th, the plan a repeat performance that would have been more chilling and devastating than what happened in 2001 which would have been to blow up eight jumbo jet flying across to the united states and canada. had that succeeded, more people would have died on september 11th. the international airline systems would have gone out of business. no one in their right mind would have a phone anywhere again. that is the viet cong were. as bad as they work, they had no designs to attack the united
states. the specter of the north vietnamese attack in seattle was entirely created by the johnson administration and had no basis in fact. secondly, we are not in afghanistan as a colonial imperial power. there is not an american in america who wants to colonnade and control afghanistan. to the contrary, we would like to get away as quickly as we can. the situation in vietnam, the u.s. was there with very little legitimacy and was perceived as the vp colonial -- of the french. let's deal with the situation we have a, not with analogies to other places. i understand the question. in terms of domestic politics there is a great parallel. the president finds himself in a terrible situation.
all the critics of the war are daut pelosi democrats from cambridge and new york city. the supporters are sarah palin republic and. the people he has to convince are his natural constituency. palin is just looking for a chance to say he is covering it up. the politics in this are terrible. yes? >> you mention that we do not know and there have been no credible reports. there have been reports over a number of years that he has not
stayed in above iran what is going back and forth. there were reports in the 2004 and photographic evidence. the had seen him there in january 2009. how do you analyze those reports? >> i want to be absolutely explicit. the last time we had a solid piece of information about where osama bin lawn was was eight years ago. -- osama bin laden was 8 years ago. he said it has been a few years. senate -- gates has been my boss in more organizations than i can remember. it has been eight years, mr. gates, since we have had any idea. has he been in iraq? i do not rule it out.
al qaeda has been able to operate in iran on more than one occasion. we do not know what the government relationship was. i would suggest to you that if the iranians want to give us trouble in the world in the next few years, one of the simplest ways for them to do it is to just allow a higher degree of al qaeda operational activity in their territory. since we have no baseline as to what they allow, more of it coming would be hard to judge in its significance. if the relationship between al qaeda and ron, it is a black hole. -- between al qaeda and iran. >> have a question about the syndicate of terrorist
organizations including the caliban. there was not a single afghan on the plans for 9/11, as far as i know. -- on the planes. omar sending out information and is allowing [unintelligible] he is sending out messages. this -- he says we are not threatening everyone. why do not -- why do not give them a chance? >> there are several questions buried in that one question. first ago, those chosen by a osama bin laden chosen carefully. it was deliberate.
he brilliantly realized that by putting 15 saudis on the airplanes he was going to create a problem. it was a brilliant piece of tactical strategy. apparently he could not find enough people who could fly who were capable of doing that. omar and the taliban, i do not believe that is what he is saying. we are prepared to let you leave, more or less gracefully. the emirate of afghanistan will be created and we will talk to our fellow afghans about what the situation will be. to the contrary, he says karzai is a trader and deserves a traders' response. -- and he is a day traitor and
deserves a traitors response. i believe parts of the taliban maybe but -- may be prepared to break. they will not do it now. no one in their right man is going to break because you will be dead tomorrow morning and so will your family. if the momentum is shifted, we can offer security and protection to people who break from the caliban then we begin to see fissures within the movement. if we do something simple like paying soldiers up more money at the taliban days we might also find that many people did many people will switch over. that is part of what i mean that we will know in 18 months.
by then we will see whether the villagers are likely to develop in the taliban. we will see whether the resources we have brains record in who might otherwise go to the taliban. i think we will know that within that definite period of time. i am very skeptical of the notion the [unintelligible] is interested with negotiations with the united states. if they are, prove it to us. >> we have time for two more questions. >> i am with the bin "american conservative" magazines. we were against the war in iraq. what about an exit strategy that was promoted that america as a democracy you is not able
to fight a guerrilla war. we should really be moving into a defensive strategy, which we could do well. as a democracy, we cannot with all the conflicting issues have a coherent policy for settlements on the west bank. we cannot stop it. >> the short answer to your question is we tried a defensive policy between 1998 when they declared war on us and september 11th, 2001. we ended up with september 11th, 2001. i sat in the situation room in the white house when we launched cruise missiles. that is a very difficult
strategy to carry out because we have to be lucky in foiling every single plot. they have to be lucky once or twice to have a devastating effect on us. we may get their -- there. if it is not working in 18 months, we need to be honest and rigorous and say it is not working. then we may have to go to that strategy. i would rather try to find out whether there is a better alternative to the one you are suggesting. >> i appreciate your remarks. i am a former intelligence officer.
here is the deal. five years ago, congress rejected 402-2 resolution. we are not willing to have our sons and daughters, friends and neighbors bear the burden physically. the speaker has said there will be non. we are not willing to embrace paying for this thing financially. what does that say about our level of commitment? if we take this at face value which is we have to find a way to mitigate this great. this threat, i do not think we can eliminate it. politicians on both sides of the aisle are saying if the threat can be made to permanently go way, it is not happening. when our going to start talking honestly with each other and
the american people about that fact? -- when are we going to start talking? we're going to have to pay for them. thank you. >> it is a very good and difficult question which goes beyond my area of expertise. as i said, this is going to be a resource intense battle. that has all kinds of implications for other things we want to do. i do not know whether the situation in iraq is going to get worse next year as many expect it will, but i think if we draw down the u.s. forces in iraq, it will be compelled by the situation in afghanistan. we will not have the option of doing both at once. one great line that has been
exposed in the last decade is this -- the united states military can fight two medium- sized conflicts at the same time. we cannot do that. if you are involved in one, do not start another one. it has implications in other places. the notion that the united states today could use military force against iran while it is bogged down in afghanistan and is trying to get out of iraq is lunacy. we could not afford to do that. we simply could not. that has implications for the future of iran's nuclear development policy. the president is going to take the military option off of the table. -- president is not going to take the option off of the table. mr. president, if you want to do that it is your nickel, but here
is my racket -- my resignation. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, bruce. [applause] >> he will be available to sign copies of his book. he will remain outside. clocks while embedded in afghanistan, free-lance video journalist observing how the use unmanned aerial vehicles, or drums. >> the two drawn units in afghanistan, one handles the north and one handles the south. at the south is the busier of the two. these numbers are classified, but i would guess 100 drones. the predators look like a model airplanes about the size of a
small compact car. there reapers look the same that are about twice as big. they look like fighter jets more than model airplanes. you can hang bonds on these. they carried different sensors like cameras, radars, etc. they can stay in the air and a long time. it depends on what you are carrying but it is not impossible for one of these to orbit for one full day just spoke it -- soaking up data and taking pictures of terrain. you can think of them as manned aircraft except that the man in the aircraft is on the ground talking to the ground troops. they actually use a track program that looks like an instant messenger to do a lot of
the communications with those receiving the reports. they are fairly precise as far as these things go. they did not carry large weapons. it is a far cry from a b-1 bomber. this is about 1/4 size of a the reaper. it is very efficient for what it does which is to stay airborne for a long period of time. it has a small engine in the bag. it can carry two missiles at two pounds each. typically we do not even supply the missiles because we need fuel. we would rather have the time in the sky to help support the
troops if they are out on convoy or on a strategic missile in the queue for the big bad guys here -- a strategic mission of looking for the big bad guys. the picture is not as nice as of the reaper but it is the exact same mission. >> of the units in afghanistan do not handle many attacks. the operations and the operators sit in these trailers. most of those people are in las vegas. their work at the air force base in nevada. the guys in afghanistan launch and recover them. they are responsible for operations in small areas usually around the air base.
it is like a 24 hour operation. the air for skies and contractors are constantly dragging these out to the air strip in watching them from control trailers with a remote control. they pass them off to the guys in las vegas. they fly around and return the drowns -- drones to the guys in control. they will look for roadside bombs, any activity. >> they took a pilot out of the cockpit and put in a satellite dish. they are always looking for the control. the missions can be so long, over one day sometimes, that a
regular person could not do it. it also allows us to do the majority of the work back in the united states and there is no need to deploy. you can also ship of the crew for four era -- four hours. having that kind of flexibility allows you to do that. >> they have video cameras and high fidelity radar that takes these really impressive snapshots of terrain. in the morning you take one snapshot. you come back in the evening and take another and compare. if you see differences like this corner has been disturbed, then you might have spotted a roadside bomb.
they will bury it when you are not looking, but if you have the pictures to compare it is called change detection. they revisit areas and take radar snapshots. they sent in the ground teams to investigate. this is the reaper. how are they different? >> it is the same design and they scaled it up. a bigger wings, more powerful engine. we get to carry more. instead of carrying two missiles we can carry four and two 500 pound bombs. they were able to put a larger telescopes for better optics. it has much better sense our capability. because there is a bigger engine
it can go higher, faster, and it is tough to get the credit for over 100 miles per hour. if you need to respond and get a contact on the ground, we can push the reaper up to 200 miles per hour. >> you are also using this to spot roadside bombs? >> correct. the radar of here on the nose is another sensor that is on here. it uses radio waves and you get a nice image of the ground. we fly the same path over and over and are trying to help keep the roads clear. >> he was indicted with the air force. -- above embedded.
sunday night he talks about his current studies at harvard. next, a discussion on the life and career of william f. buckley jr.. author of more than 50 books. he passed away in 2008 at the age of 82. we will hear from author richard brookhiser. it is about an hour. >> good evening, everyone and welcome to the new york historical society. i am president and ceo at the society. tonight's program "right place, right time" is part of the distinguished speakers series, the heart our programs. i would like to thank mr. and mrs. schwartz.
tonight's program will last an hour and include a question and answer session if time permits. please join us for a book signing with richard brookhiser whose book you repurchase in our museum store. our moderator is the editor of "national review." he has written for a variety of publications. he is a syndicated columnist and commentator for the fox news channel. his book was a "new york times" best seller. richard brookhiser wrote his first story in 1969 when he was 13. he became the youngest senior editor at age 23.
in his recent book, "right place, right time", richard brookhiser tells the story of his friendship with william f. buckley jr. he offers an eyewitness account of the conservative intellectual and political ferment that he their chirred and lead. before we began, please make sure that your cell phone are switched off and placed in me in welcoming our guest. [applause] >> it is a pleasure for me to be invited to this event.
as a guy who works in this liberal city i am sincere because it is a pleasure for me to be invited anywhere. it does not happen very often. [laughter] [applause] to give you an idea of the strange existence a conservative has in the city, for the longest time, the offices of "national review" was located above a rap music studio. the most interesting part of this juxtaposition is when the weather would get warmer and we would open up the windows, this unmistakable odor would waft up and i regret to tell you that " national review" has been produced in a haze of marijuana smoke. thank you for being here tonight.
bill buckley said it was a remarkable stylistic performance. pretty much everything he does is a remarkable stylistic performance. he can knock your socks off with a one line e-mail. please look forward to an extremely elucidating and entertaining evening. thanks for being with us. let's start off and go through the narrative flow of the book. >> my family discovered him in the late 1960's. the first means of it was television. he hosted a tv show called firelin"firing line." through most of its life it was an hour of political talk.
it was a very simple format. two chairs and a table. it was a simpler day of television, no bells and whistles. now top 10 lists or anything. it was just him and one guest and he would give them applied introduction and it would go at it. we first watched it as a sporting event without attending to the content so much. we also got drawn into that as a result of seeing the -- we also got into that. as a result of seeing the television show, we subscribe to the magazine. we bought a copy of his third book.
every issue. it had come out in 1959 so this was a reissued paperback. we have seen him and read his book. -- before 1969 before the idea came to me. i had written a letter to my brother about an interesting day in my high-school and what this was, there were vietnam war protests in 1969. it was called the moratorium against the vietnam war. this was mostly a college thing. there were going to be teach- ins' and kids would cut classes and so on. we decided to imitate this and -- some kids decided to
imitate this and i thought it was wrong. i wrote him a letter every weekend, mostly what happened during the week. it was mostly high-school plays and basketball games. this time i wrote about moratorium day. he said that was a funny one. my father said why don't you send that to the national review? i changed the letter a little bit and i sent it off. we were completely uninformed about journalism. we knew note journalists or anything about journalism except we concerned it -- we consumed it. i assumed they did not like it. they did not -- teacher it away and this is what magazines do. i got a letter from a man who was the managing editor. i just cleaned off my desk and
found your magazine and i learned that is what magazines do. >> nothing changes. i read it and i like it, he said. we would like to publish it. that was great. it was like a rush, you know. who would have thought -- i must have thought because i sent it off. i did not think, what really happened, it was like, my god. >> when it entered your mind that you might become a journalist? >> i think i always wanted to be a writer. i thought i would write fiction. that is what i read. we all read fiction in school. we read the traditional novels that are assigned to kids in high school like "david
copperfield." i also read on my own and most of it was fiction. i thought i would be a novelist. instead of doing that, here was something else that i had actually finished. it was a completed thing. someone said i like this and they published it and they paid me for it. so then, i guess maybe -- >> but not much. >> $180 is what i was paid. i did think to myself for many years that "national review" was in violation of the 19th amendment which prevents indentured servitude. it is $180 better than nothing. i was 14 or 15 years old when it came out. i never got paid for anything apart from mowing the lawn or selling lemonade.
$180, that was cool. that certainly was the beginning of thinking maybe this is the real thing to do. not writing novels. >> how did you stay in touch after that? >take us to the next step. >> everybody at "national review" i dealt with was very encouraging. i got a letter from one of his older sisters and she was the managing editor. i got a postcard which was a three by five postcard. it had scrawled on it hardly legible something like nice job. as you know, everybody who wrote
anything for any issued -- and the issue got those cards but they were very nice to get. it was a nice courtesy. that encouraged me. i sent other pieces when i was in high school. some were rejected but some are published. there was one occasion when i sent a letter when i was in college. i sent him this letter describing some [unintelligible] i got a call from my brother who was in high school. what he had done was writwrote a column and said i want you to
read a letter i got from someone in college. >> if you would write me a letter of 650 words it would make my job easier. >> as i had gone on in life i see the self-interest in that generosity. it was -- this was a surprise attack of approval. then i learned there was a young woman at yale a couple older -- couple years older than i was. she told me about that program and she said you really ought to apply for that. i know national review announces that every year. you do not absorb everything in the magazine so was her telling me that got me engaged. i applied to be an intern. i was accepted and this was the summer before my senior year. when i was graduating, this was
1977 graduating from college and this is a near where every humanity's major thought of going to law school. it was the defaulting. we would all go to law school. i took the law boards and i have no gift for law. none at all. now interest. i was on that track. i was corresponding with priscilla. she said what are you put off law for year and come to the "national review". and that summer has gone on longer. >> what was national review like at that time? >> among the causes was the defense of capitalism. which we did very intelligently. the bill was very savvy about economics. about to as well as a layman can.
we were a pre capitalist institution. it was like buckleyland and the ruler was bill buckley. that was clear to everybody. he was a benign ruler. he was certainly an unchecked one. there were no checks and balances there. he ruled that by charisma. and by generosity and geniality. he made it fun to work there. he did not rule it by paying people a lot of money. i do not want to poor mouth it. it was a little magazine. it was not like working for conde nast.
the offices then, you remember them. there were at 150 east 35th street and the polite word to describe them was dickensian. they were kind of ratty. it was billed as an apartment building. i do not know of had been used as an apartment building but it had small rooms, lots of bathrooms. little rooms. >> it was like working in an escher painting. >> one shortcut which bill and priscilla made use of, there was a dumb waiter that ran between her office and bill's office on the third. they used this to send manuscripts and notes to each other. i remember priscilla had a bell on her desk that was shaped like a turtle. when she had something for bill
she pressed the head and it rang. she would send this thing up in the dumb waiter. >> you cannot make this stuff up. >> he would send it back. there was something very honey about it -- homey about it. bill was a star. he was a celebrity. that is something that happens. one thing that happens when celebrities died [unintelligible] and bring them back. if they exist on film as bill does, the television shows, you can youtube them and hoover institute is reissuing them. that makes it easier. also, memoirs are coming out. mine is not the only one.
there will be probably several shells of william buckley books in the next 10 years. he was just a star. comics had imitations of him. you also got the kind of aura of that i've been in his presence. if you were walking along the street with him are getting out of his car with him, there was -- people are looking in our direction. there were now looking at me. there were looking at him. you still got to -- i am walking with him a sort of feeling.
it was exciting. >> you say there were not checks and balances on his benign dictatorship. who were the other key players at that time? >> the two people he relied on to make his career go were his sister priscilla which was the managing editor and his secretary and assistant francis bronson. france's bronson was the regular of his life. she made sure that everything there was supposed to happen happened. at the peak, there was hundreds of things. the tv shows he did, all the writing assignments he had, the speeches he gave, the appearances, the parties, this, that, and the other thing. she told the story many times that there was one phone call from bill fenty have a list of things she should do.
it was 13 things and then when he got to the 13 he went back to number one and said has that been done yet, not realizing they had not high up the phone and given her the chance to do it. she made that happen. he relied -- priscilla had real world journalistic experience because she worked for united press in new york and paris. a lot less intellectual types that the magazine had not really had. she knew some nitty gritty things that maybe bill did not. she also shared his views and his tastes. he could safely go to europe every winter to ski and write the book and leave the magazine in her hands. he knew she would not do something crazy. he could trust her. >> in terms of the political context of that time, how would
you characterize the general tenor of things at "national review"? was it joyously in battle or optimistically embattled or we are doomed? >> the mid to late 1970's were horrible. i think they were a horrible time. >> we know the feeling, unfortunately. >> worse. it was really worse. nixon, who we had never wholeheartedly supported but supported to an extent had come to the ending that he had come to. ford we felt was weak. carter we felt was weak and bad. the soviet union seemed to be picking up, they were getting park place here and hotels and assets, it was like monopoly.
cuban troops were running the portuguese empire in africa. that is so weird to say that now. it is likely colonization. cuban troops took over the portuguese empire when the portuguese gave it up in the mid-1970s. energy shocks, stagflation, all kinds of stuff. i think the mood was embattled. the mood changes when ronald reagan wins in 1980 but those first few years were grim. >> when you were asked "national at "national review" in those years you were experiencing his full charm which is a mixed billblessing. talk about that a little. >> the biggest blast of it i got, the biggest bolt was one
day when he took me to lunch. i had been at the magazine a year and i was 23 years old. he takes me to lunch and he says, "rick, i have decided you will succeed me as editor. he also said when that happens you will all the magazine. -- own the magazine. i was flabbergasted. there was no preparation for this. no hands or anything i picked up. i had older colleagues. i asked him one of this one or that one and he had various reasons. he said it is going to be you. so and then to reinforce this a year later, he took me, he said, "let talk."
and that that were going to lunch but instead we go to mexico city. and then to tasco. that was his idea of going around the corner. then he sort of emphasized the offer. it was a way of underlining the offer. this was to be the plan of my life at age 23. i accepted it. i was very young. i accepted it without demur. that was how young i was. that was the framework for everything i did for the next nine years until i was 32. i was managing editor by this time. i came back to work after lunch one day and there was a letter addressed to me from bill. it said confidential. i opened it and he says, i have
decided you are not going to succeed me. you do not have executive flare. and then he went on to expirexpn what he meant. i thought i had torn up that ladder. i have a vivid memory of tearing up that ladder and the waste basket. i could have sore right toward up. when i was getting ready to write the book, i have folders and paper sitting around and i found it. i found the original letter. my memory played me false. so then -- i have to figure out what am i going to do with my life now but i have to figure out what do i do with this man? who has been my -- the man who attacked me and has untapped me, so how do i relate to this guy? >> how did you relate to him?
tell us how you process your view of bill in light of this information about him, what you had gained in what would strike most people as a tremendously cruel act in some ways? >> certainly the way he did it was. i think he was largely, maybe even mostly right in his judgment. about executive flair. i think i have some. >> every time i hear this story, do i have executive flair? >> my wife helped.
she was a sex therapist. she gave him a were shot card. we had them for dinner. -- she was a psychotherapist. she gave him a rorschach card. she believes it is a useful and powerful diagnostic tool. she brought one card which she showed to both of them. and i do not remember what pat saw although he said she was wrong. she saw two things and she told him one. he used teh whithe white space.
which is rare. she said, that means oppositional temperament. he was confirming in how he read this card. what she did not tell him was he did not use the color at all. just did not use it. that means detach from your emotions. or can mean. which bill could be. not always obviously. he could be. i had to put this in my picture of him. i also had to do with the fact that he still wanted me around. having said you're not going to succeed me, he went through many
adjusters and maneuvers to say and indicate do not go away. please stay writing. please stay around me. because one aspect of him is he liked youth, he had been a young success himself so he was always looking for other people -- young people. there is a list of them. he was very good at finding them. i guess that made he relive his own youthful start. it was generous and it showed his eye for talent. he could see you're going to be famous may be and pick you out. -- famous maybe and pick you up. my wife and i went to india and i got -- they thought it was
malaria. i was just so sick when i came back. i had to stop in london and go to the hospital for tropical diseases and it turned out to be some bug that was easily quelled. when i get home, i find this big box in the lobby of my apartment building and it was an electric piano that bill had said. i called him to thank him and he brushed past the facts and rushed past and said this is a really fine piano. it really sounds like a piano. he started talking about the technical details. he was saying, do not go away. i know you are pissed so i do not want to lose you. he made this the way he made his efforts. the where i made my efforts as i stayed and stayed writing for him. i shared my riding with him --
writing with him. that is how we inched back together. >> to pick up the narrative, you talked about how horrible the mid 1970's were and then we had reagan. when did you -- did bill realize this is going to happen? we were going to elect our dream cast it -- candidate? >> i did not think we knew until the second ave with carter. it looked like it would be a close election. up to that second debate with carter went reagan said there you go again. i did not know what -- that was the game changer. i made a bet on what the
electoral college vote would be and i thought it would be close. then when the white about victory in the electoral college happens, there was great elation. we bought an ad in the new york times fo, for "national review"t was a mind-boggling extravagance. we have this picture of reagan reading "national review" on an airplane. let's say i got my job through "national review". [laughter] we had to learn that this was not the millennium. reagan would be unable and sometimes unwilling to do everything we thought he should and we had to live with that
disappointment which is realism. but we have to live with that. i remember there was -- reagan cut taxes and then he had to in his second year or second or third year, he had to raise them back up because there was a bad recession and there was a political -- politically, it was necessary to raise some taxes. we thought this was wrong. he should not do it. there was a meeting between james baker, the -- was the chief of staff then? and bill and the editors. and it left a very sour taste in my mouth. here was bill, the public man i had admired most in the world and was close to end here was baker who was this operator. he was not listening at all. this was just stroking.
i am not so politically savvy but i could tell that's what this was. it was good to see that. to see that is how things are sometimes. >> you will hear it said that in the 1980's, once conservatives took power, the magazine lost some of its intellectual oomph. is there something to that? >> it would not be because of people taking power. as people age and retire and die, they always have to be replaced. there're always moments of transition where we are mourning the people we lost and we do not yet realize that the replacements are as good as they are or perhaps they are not as good as it will become. james mbyrnum, one of his
right hands and he had a stroke before reagan took office and that was a serious loss. byrnum the very serious column about the cold war which ran in every issue. he just had all level of analysis and also imperviousness to fads and panics. you know how powerful those are. he just would not feel them. it would just roll off his back and he would keep his eye on the ball. and losing him was a great loss. it is always wrong to look for the replacement. because there never is. never an exact replacement of anybody. you have to find other people who do very different things or somewhat different things. there is always that kind of --
you think what would the perfect "national review" be? yupik people from the perfect era. -- you pick people from the perfect pair of. >> we have 10 or 15 more minutes of us chatting. i would like to hit some particular aspects of bill and get some thoughts on political figures and we will end our discussion on some of your thoughts on the current political environment. you mentioned pat buckley. what role did she have in his life? >> i think she helped him gain entre to a certain society. buckleys were a rich family.
she was a stylish woman who was a figure in new york society. she was also quite a lively person. one of my favorite memories of her was towards the end -- >> that is a way of saying she was terrifying. mayor bloomberg came to an editorial dinner. he was in full campaign in smoking in public places. pat's was one of the glass tables in new york that had monogrammed matchbooks. this will soon be a crime. she had these. she did not blow a puff of smoke into the mayor's face but was pretty close to the mayor's face and, mr. mayor, man spoke in my own house?
that is a mild example of what she could do. >> talk about bill as a writer. you have surprisingly mixed things to say about him as a writer. >> i never liked his fiction particularly. i just never did. it was john r. fiction -- genre fiction. i think some genre fiction is wonderful. certain things i love. bill's spy novels ever did that for me. bill was a mster o master of th syndicated column. he wrote a lot of them.
if you get the best of those, that is a murderer's row and they are so varied. they can be analytical or appreciative or on the attack, they can be melancholic, he had a lot of different voices that he could summon. he could also do lager essays very well. but i remember one -- it was about the effective end of the latin mass in the catholic church and how that paid him. it was a very moving column. i was reading this from the outside. it was filled -- it was a mournful column about this, very powerful.
he could do essays. about truman capote's black and white ball. bill did that and he was a guest but he brings it alive. here is why everyone is talking about it. >> talk about bill as a new york figure. how important his run for mayor was and how important his new yorkness was. >> his run for mayor, it was in part a stung and tt and to get e brand out there. the brand of himself.
he worked in the city. he had an apartment in the city. he lived a lot of his life here. the way the city was in the mid- 1960's was the beginning of the long decline that really went right up until 1993. he just said, this is lousy and it is not inevitable. it is because we're doing things wrong. here are the things we're doing wrong and we ought to do them better. he was taking -- it was a stunt but it had a serious court. he was saying my city does not have to be this way. if we just free ourselves from certain shibboleths we can figure out ways to do with our -- do with our problems. he was having fun. what will you do if you win?
demand a recount. there were these jokes teammate. he was seriously advancing the case which, by the way, the attitude of most conservatives, barry goldwater said, why don't we saw it off and let it float off to see? -- to sea? that was an example of bill's openness and flexibility. he felt it was a problem that ought to occupy him because this is where it was. he was not going to turn his gaze away. being built, he had a practical side. the city-state's. here is how to make it better. >> some thoughts about political
figures, your thoughts on figures and their role in postwar conservatism. barry goldwater. >> he was -- what a handsome man. that was very important. he was the hero. the heroic -- i still use extremism [unintelligible] terrible political judgment but what a great thing to say. >> richard nixon? >> when bill clinton was president, my wife is a liberal democrat. i would always tell her, nixon was my problem, clinton is yours. nixon destroyed himself. he destroyed himself. his hatred destroyed himself. and took a lot of conservative energy down with him to say nothing of southeast asia and millions of people.
never forget that. millions of people. the first editorial i firstfo wrote for "national review", th ere was a jesuit that said the khmer rouge killed thousands. that was a lowball. it was also nixon bringing himself down. it was the final piece of that. >> reagan. >> reagan, the two things he did, you cannot do many things. you can do two things as president. the two things he did was he stopped the economic slump and he did say, i forget now who he said this to. here is my strategy for the cold war. we win, they lose. and he set in place for the
conditions in which that happen. >> jack kemp. >> it was so thrilling to be in his presence. he was so ebullient and energetic. i think he kind of went off some of the rails with some of his ideas. he could also like the sound of his own voice. he could also think, i am the only person in the party understands the problems of black people and there was back patting, but what a high spirited man. >> george w. bush. >> i am going to say what i said at washington and lee shortly after -- just before he left office. i was giving a talk and there was a dinner with contributors. they were asking me not as a
conservative but as a historian. what about this guy? very - group of people. i said, if presidents are stocks, buy george w. bush. if it moves at all it is going to go up. it cannot go down. i said more seriously, look at grant. he was in the cellar for 100 years and he did not deserve to be there. he was put there by elite historians like henry adams to thought he used the wrong forks, he was put there by a completely converted racists who were the dunning school and they were southerners and it was "the birth of a nation" with footnotes. the insurgents one.
i think bush, we will see. he made it possible for the insurgents to lose in his war. >> barack obama? >> i went down to the inauguration. i was doing that for "the newshour." there was a historic quality to that which can never be taken away. it is one thing but it is a very important thing. the quality became more real because he was elected president. there is the rest of his term. what do we do today, mr. president? i think we're seeing problems that he has gotten himself into
and i imagine we will see many more of them. he is in an interesting position after his afghanistan speech, which is that his supporters on that will be his enemies, and his opponents are his base. that is a tricky position for a politician and we will see how that plays out. >> sarah palin? >> i will give you cole porter. you have got that thing that makes the birdies for get to get to sing. she has something. i was dismayed when she quit as governor of alaska. she is running -- she has had executive experience but why does she cut it off?
why does she chopped off and foreclose a? because she is seeking the toughest executive job in the country, arguably in the world. how do you explain that? what are you offering that can possibly compensate for that? having that thing, i do not think that is enough in and of itself. we're going to have to see more and we will have to seek a lot more because of the decision she made. >> one last question and we will open it up. we have seen one book written declaring conservatism dead. how troubled is intellectual conservatism at the moment? >> there are always winners and losers. in my other life as a historian, i spend a lot of time in the 17
nineties and the early 19th century, up to the war of 1812. some historians call that the age of passion. i have said that from this stage in a different context. if you really want to feel not so bad about politics now and level of discourse, go back and read about the 79 days and 1800's and 18-teens. they were foaming oat the mouth. jefferson thought hamilton was a monarchist and british agent. jefferson went to his grave believing that. the reason people thought that is they did not yet know that you could lose and then win. the constitution said what it
said and everyone believed elections would keep going but you have to experience it before you believe it. and now we know. you can lose but then you get another shot. 2006 was a terrible beating and 2008 was another one. the world does not end so you do the right thing and go back and keep coming back. >> great. thanks so much. [applause] do we have a mic? >> thanks. a follow-up to your last question. you mentioned hamilton and jefferson. there were towering intellectuals. what would william f. buckley think today about monumentally
ignorant people like sarah palin and glen echo supposedly speak for conservatives? that is one of the most depressing aspects of the discourse today. the disdain for intellectualism and thinking that people like sarah palin and glenn back represent. >> palin is in a different category because she is a politician. william buckley was never a politician. he ran for mayor of new york but he never won an office. intellectuals in office have a very mixed track record. thomas jefferson's presidency is a mixed bag and so is james madison's. woodrow wilson's was a disaster. they are different skill sets. we would not expect our
politicians and mostly they do not perform at the level of discourse of our and intellectuals. glenn beck is another thing. the media always changes. when i started off, it was three networks and pbs. daily newspapers were important things. i remember "lief"anfe" and "loo magazine. "time" magazine had content which it does not have any more. "the economist" is still recognizably what it was like in 99 -- 1976 and 1977. "time" and "newsweek" are going
donw. th-- going down. the world of media changes. you do not have to track its every mutation. it is an attractive to wring your hands and say woe is us. the answer to the political thing is do the right thing yourself. build it and they will come. >> another question. >> whichi havdo you agree with e will when he said [unintelligible] and there would not be a "national review" if there was
not a william buckley? >> yes. >> what do you think about chris buckley? >> he is a friend an an editor -- and an editor of mine. i wrote for him and i noticed he sent out 3 by 5 cards every time i wrote a piece and i thought, that is very nice to see that being carried on. chris was writing about his parents'deaths and i waparents'g about bill's life. two different books. >> i first read "conscience of
the conservative" at 14. in the course of my life i watched conservatism ormorph and it reached its pinnacle with ronald reagan. would you agree that conservatism has changed in appearance and is that a good thing or bad thing? >> i think there was a very depressing consequence of republicans who were most of them, not all of them, most of them taking over the house in 1994. and running the house till 2006. and the consequence was corruption. and it was just getting too used to be there and it was all othe k street connections.
who was the congressman who strangled his mistress? >> mayor bower so many of them. -- there were so many of them. [laughter] >> don't strangle your mistress. you can saw we should have known this might happen because humans are humans and men are men but it is good to -- you have to take them as lessons. they are disasters but you have to make lessons of them and to remind yourself, ok, these are the temptations. do not do it next time. knowing that many will fail. hopefully some rather than many. the big change which we are
still trying to adjust to was the fall of soviet communism. i think you cannot best -- cannot underestimate what an organizing principle that was for so much. when it fell in 19901 -- 1989 and 1991, i thought i would never see that. when i looked at the national " herald tribune" and the headline was "communism's collapse." it was inconceivable. adjusting to that. what is our role in the world? how should we take saddam hussein? these became questions. and then 9/11.
my reaction to 9/11 was, this is the rest of my life. this is the 30 years' war. i am not going to see the end of it. we could argue about that. that is what i believe. we are still trying to figure out what are the implications of that and what should the strategy be. one thing jim did over and over was not just to say that communism is evil but how do we fight it? what is our strategy and we are still grappling with this. here is this for us. it is very different from the soviet union. the soviet union never killed 3000 new yorkers. it never did. it is different. how you wrap your mind around that? what do you do? these are -- i am not going to give you the answer now. no one is going to give it to me or anyone.
book by claude brown. a lot of it was about heroin use in harlem. he came out when he was running for mayor with some very anti- drug statement or proposal, and he got a postcard from milton friedman. he explained why this was wrong. this was something build lot about and wrestled with, and not just marijuana, he added an issue in the magazine called "the war on drugs is lost." it was a symposium. he was passing this judgment on the whole thing. i think his judgment was that yes, marijuana has that effect. they are not truly worse than alcohol, and we waste a lot of
resources and generate a lot of hypocrisy and capricious law- enforcement by pursuing its offenders. this came into my life in 1992 when i had cancer and had to go through chemotherapy. chemotherapy always always -- almost always creates nausea, and i found myself using marijuana to deal with that. i think bill's wrestling with this issue helped me indirectly. it prepared the intellectual grounds for it. i know i certainly had no problem writing about this, working for "national review." bill wrote a column about it. the only time it affected my worked, you will remember dan quayle was the elder bush's vice-president. he had gotten off to a very bad
start, it never shook the reputation that he was not smart. the 1992 race was heating up, and people were just in despair and panicking. a crazy idea was running around, bush to dump quayle from the ticket and pick somebody else and that will revive his fortunes. i thought this was a crazy idea, if for nothing else, that seeming desperate is worse than desperation. for that reason alone. i had just come out of the hospital and i was still in mind marijuana haze. i was in the state of mind where this donor just kind of observe the world -- where the stoner just kind of observe this the world. maybe i could have put in a good word for dan quayle.
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> here is what is ahead on c- span pose a christmas lineup. next, a look at the lives of the late senator ted kennedy. then, eric cantor and former white house press secretary joe la carte or part of a panel discussing the political events and trends that will shape 2010. >> beginning monday, a rare glimpse into america's highest court threw a unprecedented on the record conversations with 10 supreme court justices about the court, their work, and the history of the iconic supreme court building. five days of interviews with supreme court justices, starting monday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on
c-span. get your own copy of our original documentary on dvd. a three disc set, one of the many items available at c- span.org/store. >> friends and colleagues of late senator edward kennedy joined earlier this month to discuss his life and legacy. this is just over an hour. [applause] >> that evening. -- that evening. on behalf of the chair of the kennedy library foundation board of directors and the chair of the board of the edward m.
kennedy institute, i thank you for coming to this very special forum and thank those watching on c-span or listening on the radio. for me this fall will forever be a sacred space, the site chosen by senator kennedy himself and then duly consecrated by the tens of thousands who came to pay their last respects to him while he was lying in reposed in the center of this room. it was an honor for all of us associated with this institution to work with the centers legendary staff, many of whom are here with us tonight, and to be part of those hallowed days in august. when people ask me how we did, i give the credit to senator kennedy's wife vicki. restrengthen dignity and the indefatigable graciousness year extended begin extended
emboldened all of us as a grieving nation. [applause] miers rolle this evening is to explain how the forum and book signing -- my role this evening is to explain how the forum and book signing will unfold. the lowell institute and the boston foundation. our focus this evening is senator kennedy was the legendary life, extraordinary career, and enduring legacy, especially as told through his best selling memoir, ago true, was." mrs. kennedy has -- his memoir,
"true compass." with such an outstanding and array of speakers to hear from, i will be brief in my introduction. additional by graphic liberation is listed in your program. doris kearns goodwin has endeared herself to this library and are wider audience would prefer groundbreaking history, her many appearances on this stage, discussing her most recent book, honoring arthur schlesinger, or moderating a conversation with her husband, richard goodwin, who served in the kennedy administration. as a lover of personal memoirs, it is the image of her childhood to which i am drawn in those bleak october days when the red sox fall short, recalling the heartbreaking season ending losses she endured as a young fan of the brooklyn dodgers.
as her title suggests, are riding in historical commentary are refused by our own balance optimism weather in baseball or of -- or politics, she leaves us with hope that we only have to wait until next year for another chance of winning season for the advancement of a political ideal. they invariably find that michael knows more about the subject and they do. michael said, now you see why i am so much fun to be with. in addition to being the author of nine books, he has served this institution as a member of our profile in courage award committee.
there was an anecdote where he maquette a massachusetts attorney. he explained he could see the gears turning in wells' mind. he said he reappointed my mind to the board of the community college. in the same manner in which tim russert's childhood in buffalo and used his career, e.j.'s career is informed by his past and present connections with fall river, this commonwealth, and its people. when ken burns produced his monumental documentary on world war two, we turn to my barnicle to facilitate his conversation with mr. vernes. -- mr. burns.
might not only brought out his best, but closely capture the close of the shared sacrifice that defined that era. when assembling this panel, we knew he was the perfect choice to serve as moderator. on behalf of everyone at the library, the institute, and members of the extended can be -- extended kennedy family, we are deeply honored to have you here this evening. we will hear closing words from the new chairman of the library foundation board, kenneth feinberg. he is a former chief of staff for senator kennedy. he currently serves as special master for carpet executive compensation -- tarkentop 8- compensation.
important votes are scheduled this evening, precluding his being with us. the panel discussion will begin following remarks made by mrs. kennedy. a member of the kennedy library foundation board of directors, a dear friend, colleague, and soon to be next door neighbor. [applause] >> thank you very much. it is mentioned in the book -- the tom mentioned that the book is on sale at the bookstore? senator kennedy wrote about his mother having him at st. margaret's hospital, just up the street. it is a very important institution.
a couple hundred yards from here, the bethlehem community health centers -- it was the first in the country, and senator kennedy was a major force in creating it and all the other health centers. we will be beside the john f. kennedy library where senator kennedy wanted to be. an important part of the university of massachusetts at boston, senator kennedy said if you want to see the future of massachusetts, you go into u- mass boston. we are proud to be part of, never to, brother of the kennedy library in boston. there are three things the senator brought to the table every day. he was the best prepared in the room. he did his homework. he had respect for other people and other people's ideas. he knew how to reach across the
aisle. thirdly, he knew how to get the deal done. if we can impart to young people today as they study the u.s. senate, those three items to bring with you in whatever your task, we will have succeeded in his dream of explaining the u.s. senate, teaching young people the importance of understanding how a democracy works, and about how you get it done, which was what the senator did all the time. he was blessed. he had a partner who had the same zeal about the important issues of justice and health care, justice and education and all the labor issues. you could go through -- people talk about senator kennedy as the health center. the labor guy stands up and says he was the education -- the labor center. he was a senator who was an
extraordinary performer. he had a partner who understood how important that work was. his most important adviser, his best friend, his partner, our friend, vicky reggie kennedy. [applause] >> thank you so much for those wonderful, warm words. thank you and roseanne for your friendship. teddy was so delighted with the leadership you were going to be giving to the institute. it is such a pleasure to be here at the kennedy library. tech loved this place, and he would have agreed this is the perfect place to discuss his memoir, especially given the role the library has played over the decades in fostering debate
on critical issues and informing the american people about what ted love to call our march of progress. i am delighted that the library is coasting tonight's forum with the edward m. kennedy institute for the united states senate, which will be built just a stone's throw from here. i thank ken feinberg, the chair of the kennedy library foundation, also of the chair of the emk institute. if you will indulge me just a moment, i would like to say a special word of thanks to tom putnam, the director of the jfk library. also to everyone here at the library and library foundation who were so helpful to me and to all our family last august. on very short notice, they did the impossible, helping us to prepare the way for the people of the commonwealth to come here
to pay their respects to ted. fet thousand people came through the library last august -- 50,000 people came through the library, and it would not have been possible without their tireless efforts. thank you so much. [applause] i would also like to say a brief word about the edward m. kennedy institute for the united states senate. ted love to the senate. he called it one of our forefathers most brilliant democratic conventions. about seven years ago, ted and i started talking about the idea of a living institution to educate and inform generations of americans about the critical role of the senate in our democracy. he had a clear vision of a place where young people could visit
and see firsthand the role the senate place in our system of government, and were americans can come and participate in the debates of the day. he wanted to build a place to train our next generation of leaders. in his last 15 months, ted had three long term goals. launching the institute, finishing a " true compass," and passing national health reform. with the institute on its way to breaking ground next spring, " true compass" on the best-seller lists, he accomplished two of these goals and we are closer than ever before of passing a health reform since the creation of medicare. [applause] he would be thrilled at this progress and focus on getting it
done. but we are here tonight to talk about "true compass," his memoirs. he did not have the chance to see it in final book form, but he knew every word. we had read the entire book aloud to each other. for as long as i knew him, and you that teddy wanted to tell his own story for history -- i knew that teddy white to tell his own story for history. for 50 years, he kept contemporaneously it's a critical meetings with presidents, historic debates in the senate, conversations with world leaders, and many personal impressions of events in his life. he was an eyewitness, an active participant in the greatest moments of our collective history over the last half
century, and he preserved his memories for the ages. about five years ago, ted started an oral history project with the university of virginia, and these notes really started to come alive during this oral history project. i think it was through the process of mining his memories during those hours and hours of interviews that had started to reflect on his life in a different, deeper, and more open way. it was during that time that his concept of what his memoirs would be really shifted to something much more personal. and so, a " true compass" was born. ted was well into the project when he became ill, but he was
determined to continue. so many others had written their version of test store, and he wanted to tell it as only he could -- had written their own version ownted's story. it is a candid and personal look of his life as he lived it. as he said many times, he wanted to get it right for history. i hope you will agree after reading it that he did. i want to thank mike barnicle for moderating our discussion tonight and the others participating in it. they have been participants in and students of this country's historic march to progress, and i am looking forward to their thoughts. thank you very much. [applause]
>> this is quite an amazing biography. there have been other political biographies. one of the best was britain -- was written by former president ulysses s. grant. he, too, finished his memoirs all dying of cancer. one of the things that struck me about this book is that everyone here in this room and everyone in the world knows great amounts about ted kennedy's of her life. but he had an inner life that was rigging, and is all here --
an inner life that was reading. it is all here in this book -- he had an inner life that was riveting. it might mean that i might not be able to go to communion in rhode island. [laughter] for those of you who have not read the book, or who are not privy to certain aspects of his life, he was a man of deep faith, and there is a quote,
"atonement is a process that never ends." what evidence did you see or were you aware of of his deep faith? >> first of all, you actually saw him in church. i have to report, my favorite line in the book was when he was courting, and they were having dinner in the early phase. he is worried about a poll that showed his approval rating down to 48%. vicki kennedy said that is fortunate, because i never go out with the guy whose approval is below 47%. [laughter] ?z=÷that is part of the real de, that you saw him in church.
there was a connection to the church that came down very much from his mother. there is something in kent -- intimately connected in their relationship in his attitude toward faith. you saw it also in his constant engagement in religious issues and in the dialogue among religious people. there's a great story in the book where one day he gets a mailing from liberty college, jerry falwell's university, making him a member of liberty college. it includes a line "join us to fight ultraliberal like ted kennedy." jerry falwell's guy called him and they made light of it. he said he should come down here and visit with us. he said i not only want to do that, i want to go down and talk.
they had him come down, and he gave a talk about how his religious faith led him to the conclusions that he did, and he said it may elect to some people like it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a kennedy to go to liberty university. by the end of it, even the people at the university realized there was an organic link between his catholic faith and how to approach to public life. there was a sunday in 1994, and we went to the same church for a while. there is a wonderful priest there who is very close to them. we were at a mass where there were tons of kids. there he was with vicki, and my mom was visiting us. it was before the election.
after mask she goes up and greet him and says she is voting for him again. he turns to the kennedy -- she turns to the kennedys and said to be good to each other. >> in the course of his campaign and his almost daily visits back to this state, the element of compassion and forgiveness, the element of the belief and redemption -- can you speak to that? >> i think it had more to do with his catholic faith then i realized during his lifetime. the first hint i had was a
letter he wrote to the pope at the very end, which essentially explained his career within the context of his catholic faith. i thought that was so moving. two of the hardest things to figure out about a politician in real time or what his marriage is like and what his religious views are like. our religious views, usually political figures pretend to be more religious than they really are. this will be a shock to you, michael. occasionally happens. harry truman once said that his grandfather always said if you hear a politician praying too loud, go home and lockyer smokehouse, which was advice he took. if you read the book, you get the sense that his catholicism was not very basic it is not only very basic and connected to the compassion, but more connected than i realized. osca>> give people realize his p
devotion to his family, to his parents, his brothers and sisters. it is a devotion that seems to have begun quite early in life. part of it revolved around his grandfather. i would like to read this paragraph from the book. ago my memories of this grand old man that restore hope when things have been purchased in my life. he was a constant in my life during the years of boarding school. his request to me has been more fortune -- or precious than any fortune. lovelock, and believe in it, and he did. >> he is to go down to the breaker hotel in palm beach. they said he would sit in the big couch is there, waiting for anybody from massachusetts to come in, so he could talk to them.
those songs that teddy used to sing all the time, that all came from honey fitz. the memoir really is a family story, underneath it all. no one else was able to write the kennedy family story, because bobby died, jack died, and joe jr. died. nobody could write it from inside the way that teddy kennedy did. the story is the story of a family that has captivated our interest, our sadness, our happiness for almost a century. to be able to bring that story out in the last years of his life, he was more open than he could have been before. it is unusual because of its openness. those characters are thinking about the future and balancing things. lbj wanted to say something mean about bobby kennedy.
he said in the next sentence i will say something good about jackie kennedy, as though he could balance things out. lbj said he was so concerned about saving face, that he would lose his ask some day. -- lose his ass sunday. what you see here, there is a great story about when he decided to run away from home. jack kennedy was like a second father to him. he said, why don't i just read at the movies? by the end of the movie, maybe we will just go home. then he talks about how much he loves jack and bobby. what jackson bobby -- what jack's death meant to bobby, and more importantly, what they made
him want to do. he loved looking at the capitol in the distance and the scratches on the desk doors. believing that he could cross party lines, that there could be friendships forged, that somehow he could make a difference in the social progress of the country. it is an extraordinary legacy. jack kennedy created a committee where they would have statues for all the best centers. they picked the best orator, daniel webster, the best committee chairman, the best constituent service person, the best person who was able to bring things across party lines. you look at ted kennedy and he is every single one of those things. in a sense, his legacy is larger
than any one thing. any of us who were here during the time when he was here laying in state saw those people coming one after another, telling what he had done for them. what a great orator, committee chairman, all those things are in line. all that comes out in the book, his love of the senate, his love of family. he said the key made me understand me, which is what love is all about. -- he said vickie made me understand meet. >> the other thing about the book is, we have all read many memoirs, and if we were in a different line of work, we probably would not read a lot of them.
a lot of these books are interesting if you are interested in the time or the career or the issues. the ones that are really great are universal. you do not have to be a political junkie to get something out of the book. you will read this book from beginning to end even if you are not interested in politics. there are so many things there thaearly on. when ted kennedy was talking about writing this book, he said one model he had is katherine graham's book, personal history. because she was a candid. brown the time that book came out, i was in chicago and our ran into a woman who was about 22 years old. she came up to me and said he lived in washington, don't you? she said, do you know katherine
graham? she looked at me as if she was seeing -- that book was able to speak to someone of a total different experience who was not a billionaire who would inherit a newspaper. the book does a couple of things that really stand out, how did you motivate children. i asked how his father was able to motivate his kids to do so much in life. he told me a little bit about that, which is captured in the book. his father came to him at a crucial moment and said ted, you can do what you want with your adult life, that decision is open to you, but you should know that if you do not use your life to do something serious, i will not have a lot of time for you, because there are other siblings of yours who will.
he writes about what enormous influence that had on him. that is the kind of lesson you can get from reading this book. many people probably think this book is all about politics. it is more about ted kennedy the human being that it is about politics. all of us as witnesses to his life and our own lives are sometimes staggered by help one would cope with the sense of loss and the reality of loss that ted kennedy and his family endured across the years. there was a moment in denver colorado just prior to his speech to the democratic national convention when he was troubled with gallstones. he was fighting what he was fighting. he manned up, as they would say today, saying to the people
around him, i can handle this. he handled almost everything is extraordinarily well. there is a passage in the book that i would like you to reflect on as i repeated. has to do with dealing with loss. it has to do with the events of the summer of 1968 and with teddy's love of the ocean and his love of sailing, and the fact that when he would be out in the ocean, especially at night, he would look for the north star. that is the truly magical time of sailing, as the north star appears. the norstar which has been the guiding star for all seamen three-time. the north star guide you through the evening. its light is the most definite thing you can see on the surface of the dark water. you have the north star and the sound as well as the shipping water. sometimes the fall will come in and you must go by the compass for a period, but you are all
milk -- you are always waiting to see the north star again because it is the guide to the home port. the voice becomes all-inclusive. you are enveloped in the totality of it. your part of the beginning, part of the end, part of the ship, and part of the sea. i gaze at the knights die off and on those voyages and thought of bobby. -- i gazed at the night sky of and on those voyages and thought of bobby. >> you had the sense of foreboding he had about the campaign from the beginning. some folks are old enough to remember that bobby kennedy did not want to get into that race. he thought it would be seen as part of a personal fight with lbj, not about the vietnam war. he describes the process of bobby kennedy thinking about getting into that race.
as 1967 goes on, more and more of the kennedy insiders and friends want him to run. in the end, he is one of the only holdouts who, until the very last moment, he does not really want him to run. in the book, he talks about how politically it would make more sense for him to run in 1972. if there lbj would win again or he would lose and the party would turn to him. there is this sense of foreboding, that he sensed that some tragedy could happen. you feel that since the tragedy at many moments in the book, but never mo point lead -- never work more poignantly than when he is discussing the loss. >> he said everyone is broken by
a life, but afterward, many are strong in the broken places. there are many times when teddy and the family are broken by life, but they are strong in those broken places. he describes his responsibility to tell joe kennedy sr. that jack has been assassinated. there is such a realist to it, because he says he was lying there, and even though the father had had a stroke, he understood what was going on. his father's eyes were closed. he decided to wait a few more minutes. then he is the one who had to tell him. when bobby died, he is the one who had to tell bobbies children that bobby had died. to think about that men still retaining that optimism. just before he was diagnosed with the cancer, my husband and i were in a car, and for some
reason ", wild irish rose" came on the radio. we called him up and there was that booming voice just singing those ridiculous songs he would sing. it just shows you that loss is connected to life. if you have a sense of nature, of the season is being reviewed over time, if you have a religious faith of renewal, you just keep: and you drive. that is the main message of this book. it goes beyond politics. is human response to love and loss. >> richard nixon once said in 1972 after he won a landslide reelection, i had to go out campaigning and shaking hands with these people when i really felt like kicking them.
ted kennedy was the exact opposite. it also affected. -- it also affected his career. at the same time, he had these great friendships across the aisle with people like orrin hatch and others. the founding fathers always hoped that members of the senate and all of america would it do get out during the day strenuously, but at the end of the day, have a glass of ale together. it is a quality that is not very present in the senate now. >> i don't think there was a republican in the senate he did not work with on something at some point.
you asked the question, what is it about this guy who could be, who was such a strong and principled liberal, how could he do that? one of the paradoxes of politics is precisely because he knew where he wanted to go, he knew what he wanted and where the country should move, that only someone with that clarity can actually enter into compromises. in the end, if i can only get here this time, i will get there. if i can get help from orrin hatch, who was one of his great partners are a lot of things, particularly children's health care, i will go with them. it -- the times were different. it was not because he was unprincipled or completely flexible. it was because he had a set of principles.
>> why did he become more liberal as time went on? that was not necessarily true of jfk. it has a lot to do with the adversity he suffered, and his identifying with people who had suffered and who were locked out, almost in the way that franklin roosevelt's polio gave him a different degree. >> i have always felt that his embassy was natural, because like so many -- his empathy was natural. he knew what it was like to be damaged. he had tremendous identification of sympathy and a desire to improve the lives of those who had been damaged. do you agree with that? >> absolutely.
he tells interesting stories about lbj and the fact that lbj had offered -- or bobby had offered to go and negotiate the vietnamese situation for lbj. had he done that, teddy says he would have then been so caught up in the peacemaking process that he would not have run for the primaries. he would not have been killed, possibly. on the other hand, he gives lbj much more credit than one would have imagined he would have for the extraordinary domestic achievements. he said it closest to fdr is lbj. lbj always like teddy. he understood him. the one thing that is fun, even though he has nice things to say about lbj and even reagan, and
clinton had magnetism, carter does not expecescape. he says that carter baffled me. in 1976, he claimed that he won without any help from me or any democrat. he seems to have this special anumus toward me. the trouble of was, he liked to claim he was a great listener, but he only gave the appearance of listening. he served no liquor when anyone was around. he would hold seminars in which he would show of how much he knew. the one thing that really got to him, carter refused to support archibald cox because he had supported might udall in the primaries.
teddy did not hold grudges in that way. >> if carter had named archie cox to that judgeship, would he have reconsidered running for president? one of the things he is candid about our his laws. there is one moment where he says there are so many stories about me, unfortunately, some of them were true. some of them were embellishments, and some were so amazing i cannot believe anyone thought i could do that. it creates an unusual kind of humility in a public figure. when you talk about empathy for the suffering, which he had, there is also a sense of human frailty. having a sense of human frailty
is a very useful thing in confronting the world, and being honest about it in yourself can make you a far more understanding and decent person. he was not someone who was flawed and then judge everyone else by some other standard. i was struck about his own tendecandor. >> let's talk about that in terms of biography, a political autobiography. 99% of people the right political autobiographies about himself are lies. this book is amazingly self revelatory. you would be surprised at the level of truth that he sees and
saw when he looked in the mirror. i think it will be amazed in reading the book that there are many moments in the book where you can hear his voice. here might be one of them, to your point. i am and enjoy your. i have enjoyed being a center. i have enjoyed my children and my close friends. i have enjoyed books, music, and well-prepared food, especially with a helping of cream sauce on top. i have enjoyed a stiff drink or to and relished the smooth taste of a good one. at times i have enjoyed these pleasures too much. >> early on, and we all look at the kennedy family from the outside in, what an extraordinary thing in must have been to be a kennedy. as the youngest member that family, he said he was a constant state of catching up, and he was not as talented or handsome or intelligent as his brother, who were older than he.
being sent to 10 different boarding schools when you are young and overweight, you have to make friends over and over again, how hard that is for you. so it also heard him. when they gave up browns' bill so that only had -- he was sent off at eight or nine years old to boarding school. right from the start, he is so difficult -- so honest about how difficult that was, you pull for him. because he is honest and you see the pain he is feeling from the time he is a little kid, he then becomes this overwhelmingly friendly person in order to make his way in each one of these boarding schools. you pull for him from the beginning to end.
>> it works wonderfully on that level. the other level is political history. this is a guy who knew the people around winston churchill, and he knew barack obama. that is a pretty large slice of american history. if you had to find one figure to cover the whole gamut, ted kennedy is just about the only one. in reading this, it is not only the story of a life that is expiring and tells us that to liberalize, but it is a history of that period. >> teddy's youth was lonely. that and baggage from this school to that school. i remember him once telling me he was very excited that on his 18th birthday he received a set of luggage from his parents, with his initials embossed upon the luggage, emk.
the luggage was placed on the second floor of the house in hyannis port. they came back after dinner and yet this had taken the luggage, because those are her initials. -- eunice had taken the luggage because those are her initials. [laughter] he is on an army base in europe, trying to fit in. his mother makes him go out for this very fancy dinner, which he does, and comes back. near the gate, his mother comes running out of the limousine yelling teddy, dear, you have left your dancing shoes behind. after that, he says everyone referred to him as "teddy, dear
." >> history is replete with stories of both kennedy's, specifically the ambassador, joseph kennedy, and you would read stories about him and say oh, jesus. ted had a norris and lasting love for his parents. here is a story about teddy and his mother, rose kennedy. he was in virginia and had lost the iowa caucuses. he came on the phone to tell his mother, and she said that is all right, i am sure you work hard and it will get better. then she said, teddy, do you know that nice blue sweater i gave a christmas time? he said it was a turtle neck with a small pocket on the front that had been made in france. >> have you wanted? >> i am not sure i have worn it.
is there something special about it? i just got the bill for it and it is $220. if you have not worn it, send it back, because i have another one here that has not been warned. -- has not been worn. >> everybody has put rose kennedy on a pedestal, but what he does here, his dad was the one that he truly loved as well. i am sure everybody told him he had to talk about his father and what he did during world war ii. he says he was too young to comprehend his father's attitudes. in some region of my mind, he remains internally and solely my dad.
he shows that the father was the one who kissed him when he came home from school and made all his home games in football at harvard. you can imagine what it was like for him, knowing that he was the caboose in this family, as he often said. he had to become the engine of the family went bobby died. he had to become the father for that whole generation of kennedy children. he had to be at their weddings, and be with his own children when they suffered illnesses and difficulties. he wrote this book to put his father in a different light, since most people do not see him
that way. >> how many here are the youngest child in the family they were born into? more than a few. a lot of youngest children that i know, about the fact that they had to work really hard to be noticed and taken seriously, and even to be accepted into the family that already existed. one of the most interesting things in the book is when he talked about around 1961, he thought seriously about moving way beyond massachusetts, maybe to the southwest, and starting to work out there and may be running for office on his own. his father was not too wild for that. you can read this on this level,
that this is someone who was ambivalent about the legacy. >> there are two sentences that underscore about the youngest and the debt. he describes his dad and talks about the politics, but says in some region of my mind, joseph p. kennedy remains to be internally and solely my dad, just as i remained the ninth and youngest child of all the kennedys. he is also quite candid that his dad was a stern taskmaster. he said you can have an interesting life or not. you can. riding if you are downstairs -- can come riding debut or downstairs in 5 mins.
he meant what he said. >> if we were just told that there was a father who was that intents and demanded so much from these children, you would think out of nine children at least one of them would rebel, and it would not be a happy story. because the combined with that kind of love and commitment, that is why it succeeded. >> that is a huge part of the books, the corps of ted kennedy, his love for his wife and his family, his complete joy in recollecting all sorts of things about his brothers and sisters and nephews and nieces. he was filled with stories. it was mystifying to meet in a sense that a man like this had never once ceded to bitterness
or resentment of events that had taken place over his lifetime. he loved telling stories, and the stories are all here in this book. one of the best is not in the book, but it gets to his joy of his family and his memories of his brother. he told me once again -- that in october 1963, president kennedy's last appearance in the state of massachusettsu he came to attend the fund- raiser at the old commonwealth armory. he was arriving as president of the united states, and the three statewide officeholders, as well as many other local minions and politicians who were indicted, to meet and greet the president. they had two choices, they could either meet the president at the airport, shake hands and have their picture taken with him, or medium at the armory -- meet him
at the armory, which was a black-tie event, and shake hands with him there. they could not do both. three statewide democratic officeholders were the lieutenant governor, the attorney general, and a young secretary of state by the name of kevin white. air force one comes in to logan airport. kevin white, and frank chose to greet the airport -- to greet the president at the airport. just as the plane is landing, the lieutenant governor shows up in black tie. [laughter] . .
>> for those that don't know it, they went on to the dinner and that was where j.f.k. had said he was talking to teddy, and he had told him he was tired of runging on the family name, so he was going to change his name from teddy kennedy to teddy roosevelt. [laughter] >> you know, the one funny thing about the name is because he was born on february 22, jack, his older brother, wanted to call him george washington kennedy. >> that's the 200th anniversary
of george washington's birth. amazing coincidence. >> so let's, before we close out, and we have a few questions from the audience, who we'll get to, let's bring it right up to today. e.j. dionne, you first met barack obama in 1997, the only member of the legislature not indicted out there. [laughter] do you think -- >> and what's wrong with that? >> do you think that any part of senator kennedy's endorsement of barack obama for president was rooted in the possibility that he heard his brother's voice in barack obama? >> that's really interesting question. you mentioned -- i always say i'm from massachusetts. we have mad our problems in this sphere. i always like to say thak god for louisiana. >> for both of us. >> for the sake of us all.
>> consist kids and young adults who worked for bobby kennedy's campaign ended up supporting barack obama, and who heard a little bit of a sense of j.f.k. in the sort of somewhat -- the cerebral and cool part of him. and some of the r.f.k. in the more sort of -- in the more passionate part of him. and different people who were out of the kennedy tradition, some saw him more as jesk, some saw him more as r.f.k. and i think that's possible. but you gave me an opening to do one thing i wanted to do before we close. by chance, i was looking up something in arthur schlesinger's great journals. they're fantastic. there's a lot of great gossip
in them. there are a lot of very shrewd political observations. and i happened upon this passage in 1963. so it was taken the first year after he got elected. it's not about ted kennedy. and this does go to your question, i promise. >> it's ok if it doesn't. >> and he was -- schlessinger was in the white house in april, 1963. and he was talking about the problem that old new dealers and new frontier people just seem to come from a different tradition. the new dealers, he said -- of the new dealers, he said, the heart was worn much more on the sleeve then. the new frontier has a deep mistrust of what it regards as the pat liberal sentiment talts and chi chase of the 1930's. i sympathize with both sides and can see clearly why each is baffled by the other, all the more baffled because of the substantial agreement on policy. though the new dealers are
still more audacious, less impressed by business wisdom and more willing to damn the torpedoes. though it signifies a deeper difference in commitment, a change, in a way, from evangelists who want to do something because it is just and right to technocrats, who want to do something because it is rational and necessary. the new frontier lacks the evangelical impulse. and then he closes, "i wish i could figure out the terms in which the idealism and imagination of the new deal could be infused into the anti-sentimental, anti-rhetorical, understated mood of the new frontier." and it occurred to me when i read that, that in some ways ted kennedy's life was working out those two streams of liberal thought. he was very much out of the new frontier, but he also represented in so many ways that more audacious part of the new deal.
and i have a hunch he might have seen that very tension and effort to work things out in obama. >> you know what's intriguing, the fact that you take your glasses off for reading, when i put my glasses on for reading. [laughter] >> i refuse to get bifolkals is what that says -- bifolk california is what that says. >> we have a couple of questions. the first question is what do you think or what did mrs. kennedy think would be senator kennedy's position on president obama's announcement of a troop surge in afghanistan. >> we're in bad territory here. it's like when abraham lincoln's daughter announced if her grandfather were alive she'd be sure he'd be a taft republican. hard to say. >> doris, do you want to take a stab at that? >> no. [laughter] >> e.j.? >> what about where fools fear
to tread? >> there's no way you'll be wrong. >> i think there are three crick camps on this. there are the hawks, which he wouldn't have been, because they wanted to commit to troops. and then there's a group where -- i ran into several different democrats whose reaction was, god, i hope he's right, who were very uneasy about this choice, but think he may have had no better choice. i think kennedy might be suspended somewhere between the dove and the god, i hope he's right camp. >> i don't think so >> you think he would have disagreed with it? >> i think he would have asked the president of the united states, do you really think afghanistan is going to look any different three or five years from now than it does right now. [applause] >> we have one last question
that i don't think any of us can answer, and it is this. and it's to vicky kennedy. senator kennedy's dogs, splash and sunny. it was touching the relationship. we miss them of the how are they doing? -- we miss them, how are they doing? [inaudible] [laughter] [applause] >> and thank you to the panel, because it is now -- [applause]
>> it is now my distinct pleasure to introduce the pride of brockton, massachusetts, and the scourge of corporate america, america's favorite pay czar, ken feinberg. [applause] >> thank you all. thank you all very much. just before we conclude, i want to thank all of you for being here. i want to thank my friend who's here this evening representing the senate, kennedy senate institute. i also want to acknowledge the absence, but his shadow is all over this place, the man i replaced, junior senator paul kirk, whose shoes, as the new chairman of the foundation board, i could never fill. i'll just do the best that i
can. i also want to express what an honor it is for me to serve as the chairman of the foundation and to have as my first public appearance being here today at this forum discussing my former boss, my friend, my mentor, senator kennedy. it is an extreme honor for me as chairman to spend my first official visit to the library as chairman at a public event honoring this great, great man. i also want to remind all of you -- as if you needed any reminding -- that this forum today is very, very memorable. i don't know when we'll be able to get this group of panelists back together on the same stage. it may be that you will tell your family and your grandchildren that you were
here, that you were here this evening to hear from this extraordinary quartet that's been up here this evening. [applause] >> just two final points. first, inevitably in the decades ahead, years from now, there will be books written -- histories written about senator kennedy. it won't be political science, it won't be current events, it will be real history, as people will look back decades from now about his extraordinary impact. and i guarantee you that when those books are written 10, 20, 30 more years from now, there will be a huge chapter not yet
written about the impact on senator kennedy's personal and public life. the critical impact of vicky kennedy. and i think we all ought to acknowledge that. [applause] >> finally, i hope that you'll take advantage at the conclusion of this forum to go downstairs, buy a book, see vicky, buy -- let me tell you about buying this book. the library's supply of this book is virtually inexhaust i believe. so don't worry. thank -- inexhaustable. so don't worry. thank you all for coming.
>> here's what's coming up on c-span's christmas schedule. next, a discussion on the political events and trends that will shape 2010. at 11:15 p.m. eastern, author richard brookhighser, and later on we'll reair the discussion on the life and legacy of senator edward m. kennedy. >> in the mid 1990's, "newsweek" named him one of the most 50 influential people to watch in cyberspace. since then he's created the social networking site blackplanet.com, helped found a charter school in brooklyn and explained new technologies on oprah. sunday night he talks about his current studies at harvard and what's ahead on c-span's q&a. >> the commivet magazine held a conference earlier this month focusing on events that may shape 2010.
up next we'll talk to a panel which includes david gregory, eric cantor and former press secretary joe lockhart. this lasts about an hour. >> let me introduce our panelists, first of all. congressman eric cantor. of course, very familiar to everyone, not just in this town, but in this country. republican whip and a busy year ahead of him certainly. joe lockhart was chief spokesman, as you all know, for the clinton white house and is now a founding partner and managing director of the global park group, which is a large and flourishing specialist in
media relations, and, of course, very familiar around this town as well. adam boulton is an extremely familiar face on british television, but knows his way around washington as well. he was here in this town for the first 100 days of the obama administration. but he is also one of the most experienced and respected commentators on not only british politics, but politics around the world for "sky news." and last, but not least, david gregory, who is the host of "meet the press" for nbc. a chance, here, i think, to change you for allowing us to be present at your program yesterday. it was much appreciated. thank you very much. congressman, if i can start with you. imagine we're sitting here a year from now and you're looking back on 2010. apart, presumably, from the
heroic republican victory in the midterm, what would be your highlights of the political year? >> well, you know, if we're a year from now looking back, i think the story obviously has to be the progress or lack thereof made on the jobs front. clearly this has been a year in 2009 and will be again about whether washington will focus on getting americans back to work. if i go back and look at where we've been over the last 11 months, i remember the instance when i was at a meeting with the president at the white house in january. it was said amongst both parties at the time that we were going to do everything we could working together to try and get this economy going again. and what has been so baffling, i think to me personally, and many, many americans at this point is how is it that we continue to say we're putting jobs first, but we see the kind of proposals that continue to
be revealed that don't help people get back to work. you know, this week, and i know today in the news very much, is the issue of climate change, and in particular, the bill cap and trade and the continued promotion of that effort. and now we see an administrative effort to try and declare a public endangerment of carbon emissions. that has sent, i'm sure, shock waves through industry in this country and through the job creators of this country. so, again, we have a situation where there's clearly a disconnect between the proposals being pushed by this administration, the majority in congress over the last year, and i'm fearful that the same thing will occur in 2010, because all of us want to get americans back to work. i also think that, you know, long term, and certainly in 2010, we'll look back and see what this town has done regarding the deficit that we're facing in this country.
i mean, people in america understand the credit card is maxed out and there are very limited options at this point. you can go borrow from the chinese or you can raise taxes, neither of which help the primary concern of americans right now, which is getting back to work. and i gave a speech last week at the heritage foundation rolling out some proposals that we could take now together that don't cost anything to try and help this economy along. if we hopefully move in that direction, maybe november, 20 10, will turn out differently. but i'm thinking very much that the outcome in 2010 will reflect what i heard at the thanksgiving dinner table last week, and that is people in this country have a real sense of pessimism right now because they're scared. they're scared and they don't see leadership in washington expressing their concerns. president obama was elected because he said we needed change.
i think what people in this country want now is certainty, businesses and families alike. >> one of the things that, as an outsider coming into america, i'm always struck by is the fundamental optimism of this country, a sort of sense of the possible. what you're describing speaks to a sort of grumpy, gloomy mood next year. do you think that's right, or are we going to see the optimistic, upside of america on display as well? >> i think we saw last week sort of a recognition on the part of this administration that, hey, wait a minute, it's been 11 months. maybe we ought to get back and talk about jobs. we ought to talk about the kinds of issues that people face around the kitchen table, which is essentially getting through the month, worrying about college tuition, worrying about whether they can retire early or not. and if jobs is the key to that, maybe we should take some encouragement. but what i did not hear last week was a recognition on the part of this white house and the majority in congress that
we ought to do something to reduce the price of risk, because that's what small billses and large that we're counting on to -- businesses and large that we're counting on need to hear. and until we focus on the number one issue, which is economic security for families in this country, i'm fearful, yes, that we may see a very grumpy electorate. >> do you sense it or do you secretly want it? >> listen, i don't think anybody wants to root against the american public. all of us want to see this country continue to lead the world. and in order to do that, we've got to regain our economic footing. >> joe lockhart, is your thanksgiving table next year going to be a slightly more cheerful place? >> well, thankfully, i'm not running for anything. there's a lot i could disagree with there, but we could turn this into cable television quickly, an that's not good for anybody.
i think there's some analogous circumstances to where we were in 1993 and 1994. you have a very, very difficult economic situation, much worse this time, than when president clinton took over from the first president bush. and i think what you've seen this year is a lot of hard, tough decisions that have been made. this president didn't want to go in and save a bunch of big banks and insurance companies. that's not why he ran for president. he had to. i don't think he wanted to run deficits the way he did, but the economy had to get going. the question will be timing. the question is, how quickly do all of these things that we're coordinating globally, how quickly will they turn this economy? it's going to turn. you know, i'm optimistic about the economic future of the country. i don't think we've seen our best days. i don't think there's anybody in town that does. but if it does not turn quickly enough, if employment -- you know, last week was a good first step, but i think we're
going to see steps forward and steps backwards. if it doesn't turn quickly enough, it's going to be a tough environment for incumbents and there's a lot more democratic incumbents than republicans. >> one of the issues for the democrats is motivating the base at a time when things might be a little bit rough, when you don't have the excitement of a new presidency coming in potentially. how do you see that panning out? >> midterm elections are historically difficult for the incumbent party, particularly if they control all three branches. this is a country that is grumpy and is looking for an instant solution to very difficult problems that there are no instant solutions for. you know, if there was an instant solution, i assume president bush 43 would have done it before he left. there isn't. so i think the question is -- you know, we were talking about this before -- that i'm interested in is democrats in 2008 made pretty significant
advances on how to reach people and how to motivate them through technology, through social media. whether that can be transplanted and built upon for 2010. if it can, that's a pretty significant advantage. i'm certain that the republicans are sitting someplace with their own plans, and i'll be interested to see, because we tend to leapfrog each other. the party out of power is more motivated -- >> you feel that the democrats stole a march in the last cycle and are ahead of this game at the moment? >> i worked for john kerry for a couple of months in 2004, and i was surprise bid how significantly -- how much smarter the republican campaign was as far as infrastructure. and i think in 2008 republicans were surprised by what democrats were able to do. and i think being out of power is a great motivator to innovate and to think about new ways to engage voters. so i think democrats on paper have an advantage right now. a couple of years in the
wilderness, again, is a motivator. we'll see what happens. i think if we don't have that advantage, you know, that point to a tough year. >> adam boulton, you're very familiar with america, but, again, coming with this somewhat outsider perspective, and you come back having spent an intensive here for the beginning of the obama administration. what do you see the dynamics going into next year as being? >> it i'm not so sure that fort rest of the world the midterm elections will matter too much regardless of what the results are, because i think the rest of the world perceive the president as having a great deal of trouble with the congress trying to get through what he wants to get through. and also, because i suspect that, you know, just as president obama gets the nobel prize, probably the assumption of the rest of the world could be the wrong one, is that he looks like a two-term
president, and indeed that, the mood of electorates across the world in stable democracies now tends to be to go for two terms, to make a decision and then turn away. i think there is still, as far as obama is concerned, certainly in europe -- not including israel in europe necessarily -- a tremendous amount of good will and a feeling that the economic crisis has been handled well, and a sense that the governments certainly in britain and america behave in a very similar way, which makes it paradoxical that i would agree with it's official preer districts thates he'll lose the election, because people are getting tired of an incumbent government, that they've been there for 13 years. there's a sense of time for a change.
gordon brown is uncharismatic, the economy that he's been stewed with consistently has been -- well, we're the only g-20 nation not out of recession yet, although it depends what you mean by a g-20 nation, according to gordon brown. but also, i think there is another factor which we perhaps haven't necessarily mentioned sufficiently, which is that britain has turned dramatically against the post-9/11 conflicts, that for britain, there are 100 casualties. in afghanistan this year that's the highest number. i know it's small compared to the united states. and that has really poisoned politics for the incumbent government, the government which took us to war. attorney blair, for example, is viciously unpopular in britain. i can't think of any section of society where you mention the name tony blair, and even though he was thrice re-elected, people don't almost
necessarily spit at the mention of the name. it's not surprising he spent so much time abroad. >> there are other reasons for that, too. >> there are other reasons. he's making money. but what do most people want for christmas? they'd love the iraqi inquirey to convict tony blair. that is how the national mood is expressing themselves and in going for a character like cameron, although -- >> it's curious, isn't it in, this globalized world, supposedly, that we live in, you're describing a situation that is probably news to some people here, that tony blair is so deeply unpopular as you suggest in britain. >> gordon brown is not someone they spend too much time thinking about. president obama, as you mentioned, is still very much more popular, i think, abroad. his popularity hasn't rubbed off abroad to the extent that it has in this country. why is it that we're so -- the
reputations don't travel as quickly as you think other things travel? >> it's partly because of the function of democracy. they keep calling for democracy with rivals, whereas abroad, you just have to say who's in charge. certainly there's leaders in office. it doesn't really matter where idealogically they come from. for example, tony blair moving seamlessly from bush-blair, and that's how he's perceived in national politics. but the other factor, if we want to globalize this argument at the moment, is that we are at the end of an era where people played political assumptions fundamentally that, the market was good, that the market could sort out a lot of the problems which the world might have faced. now following their banking
collapse and the rest of it, there is a realization that what we call a state -- let's not get confused, that the government has a bigger role, but precisely a time when the government can't actually find the money to do something to occupy that big a role, and, therefore, has to go back to relying on individual responsibility. and it seems to me that's the question in all of these elections, we've been talking about that balance between private enterprise and between the role of the central states. it's what's going to be argued out. >> i suspect that will be a key debating point in elections coming up. i'd like to ask you a little built about the quality of the discourse that you expect to see in the year ahead. you're going to have to moderate some of this. first of all, how do you think it's been in the past? what's been the dynamic of discourse in washington? what momentum are we approaching with as the
political temperature heats up? >> i think new presidents run into the reality of washington, that it's a tough place to change cull turelly. there's limits as what presidents can do with their own coalition, even within their party, and then working outside their party. and they run up against the ambition of the other party. as congressman cantor -- he does well in the way he sort of breaks down some of the major pressure points on the administration. there are also what republicans have taken into battle into the midterm year, which is essentially a look at the status quo. do you like how things are going under obama? if not, how about a change? they're not really a party of ideas right now because they don't want to be. i think they will move into a period of time where they want to get more aggressive in presenting some contrast. right now they're happy to say look how high unemployment is, look how high the deficit. they're act more virtuous about
the need to control the deficit than they did when the republicans were in power in washington. but they'll do this to sort of say look at the status quo and look how he's managing it and isn't he taking on too much and all the rest. so i think the discourse got off to a pretty bad start. i think the white house undersmimented how difficult health care would be as a matter of public debate. now, they could have taken a closer look at how quickly the debate can be sort of sidetracked, as it was during the clinton administration, both the clinton administration's mistakes and then also how the opposition chose to go about it. it's a very tough subject. i take one example of the president was irritated of the response to his press conference early on in the health care debate when he sort of held fort and explained what was going on in the healthcare system and what the remedies would be. and then that question came up about professor gates, and that had this huge reaction, and the president was irritated that that's what the takeaway was,
not realizing that he just wasn't breaking through holding fort on health care, which is difficult, really, to understand. so i think the discourse will sort of continue as it's been. what i think you have to focus on is presidents get unpopular when they get involved in legislating. there's a reason why congress isn't popular. when presidents get more involved in that, it's an uglier process. presidents are evaluated by achievement. they like to achieve. they don't want to be seen doing the achieving, they want to just achieve. so when the president -- and i think it is a matter of when at this point. he does get health reform passed. then as president clinton has suggested, you'll see that become more popular as it goes along. but he needs some achievements under his belt. >> let's assume that health care does happen, that the bill is passed sometime early next year. what does the agenda then move
on to? there's still the climate change, the energy bill. >> right, and i think they'll tackle that. they'll talk about immigration. as congressman cantor said, it's about jobs. i thought last week was an interesting juxtaposition. what are the two issues that could define the presidency? a war he inherited in afghanistan and the jobs picture. but i think jobs are much more likely to define him. if you look at the recession in the early 19 0's and the high point of unemployment -- i think it was 10.4% or 10.8%, it dropped within sevenments to single digits and within a year it was down almost three points. that was perfect timing for the election and it was morning again in america. i mean, the democrats by the midterm, if they can get it -- they need morning again in america under their leadership. that's the issue. you know, in 2004 for the re-elect that joe was part of, karl rove would go to president bush and say if the question is terrorism, the answer is george bush. and that simple matrix
ultimately worked and sort of in a way that confound so many people. we turned a vietnam war veteran, some guy who was not tough enough to take on the terrorists, that was the work of a political operation. so ultimately the democrats have to find a way to sort of turn this ocean liner in a better direction, you know, by the midterm point if they're going to have some traction. >> congressman, could i come back to you and actually pick up something that joe lockhart said about the tricks of the trade, if you look, going into an election, that somehow in this constantly changing battle of the last cycle the democrats nudged ahead in terms of their use of technology, use of the internet, mobilization and so on. what can we expect in the form of innovation from the republican party in the midterm? >> you know, daniel, i think probably the best place to look is in virginia and new jersey about a month ago in these gubernatorial electricses. i know in my home state of virginia, we far surpassed the
get out the vote effort of the other side this time, and it came, from really, the energy now that has been focused on what's going on in washington coupled with a very disciplined, very good campaign led by our governor elect bob mcdonald. so i do think joe is correct, motivation of those out of party is necessarily going to trump the incumbent party, but i also think that it has to do with real challenges. it's not perceived here. people have problems at home. when you look at the official unemployment and it says it's at 10% or a little higher, they say that the unofficial rate, those who are either working part-time jobs or just simply given up, is probably closer to 20%. you know, that's extraordinary. and so everybody, if they're not out of a job, knows someone who is or is worried about
losing a job. and so when you see a leader, a candidate, such as bob maryland put forth -- bob mcdonald say i want to translate the vision -- and i take issue with david, who says we don't talk about ideas. i'll turn it on him. and i know he and i have said this before. we don't think that necessarily it's as sexy of a story for the mainstream media to cover our ideas right now, because it is the incumbent party in power. the presidency is held by the democrats, as well as both houses of congress. it is their agenda, which is now up -- >> up for referendum. >> what is the big idea for -- >> jobs is not an idea, but -- >> well, the big idea is to get -- to produce an environment where we can have job creation again. and see, that's where i think that the obama administration agenda so clearly disadvantages the democrats in this upcoming
election in 11 months and advantages us. i mean, and the same was true a month ago in virginia. >> there are some alternative ideas within the agenda, kind of like a defense lawyer arguing against the prosecution. i think there's some discussion within the republican party about whether there's a need for a second contract with america, so on and so forth. maybe we see by the midterm, maybe they wait till 2012. but right now, i think the republican party really wants to say did the prosecution prove its case. just take a look at how the democrats in power are running things and let's make a judgment based on that. i do want to say something else which is away from the substance of sheer politics, which is what do republicans want to be? i don't think they've quite worked that out yet in terms of what they want to be as a party, what direction. is it bob mcdonald in virginia? is it the new jersey race or is it sarah palin? i mean, there's a process that has to be gone through here to where republicans decide and
republican voters decide what is the way back. and i don't know that that's been decided yet. >> let me respond to that. i know clearly for myself, i do very much believe it is in the mode of bob mcdonald. and i don't think it's necessarily so clear-cut that we could be one of the other. because if you look at bob mcdonald and what he stood for and his record in our general assembly, he was extraordinarily conservative in all issues. it wasn't that he shied away from any of the conservative principles he briefed in, but he focused those principles of free markets, of limited government, lower taxes, faith in god he focused those on the kitchen table issues that were plaguing voters and began to represent a leader that could actually deliver some results and get people back to work. >> that brought up a problem which, again, i think is a trends not just in this country, that there is now a kind of a disgruntled, pissed off, if you'd like,
oppositionist right, which in some countries -- in britain, we have the british national party and the u.k. independence party, they've got a bigger chunk than they've had before, australia, which i have's had the opposition conservative party there, just ousted their leader there for supporting climate change. we've not northern leagues in italy, and here we have glenn beck and rush limbaugh about what is the true republican party. it seems to me that there is a very clear term out on the right, which also will be a problem. >> adam, i've always said this -- there are a lot of voices in both parties, and there are those in public office and those not, and there is a different notive often in terms of those in the media than perhaps those of us who owe it to our constituents to live up to the promises made. and i think you're right in that people are pissed off, you know, in this country, because there's a lack of demonstrable
result. and as people are out of work, they become even more enraged at a lack of deliverables on the part of government. >> you don't want to talk about, as i understand it, whether barack obama is deeply racist, right? >> you want to talk about -- i mean, listen, people are looking for leadership now, and they don't care about that issue. they care about getting back to work. >> but when you have that raised and put on the agendas, that's a problem for you. >> i donned -- i want to make this less partisan, although it may come out as partisan and talk a little about history. because i am listening carefully to what you say, and my history doesn't go back very long. i remember the 1990's under a democratic president where we took a budget deficit and created 23 million jobs. we gave that to the republicans. we lost the surplus. and under president bush, if we created a lot of jobs, i don't know where they were. the unemployment rate didn't start at zero in january of
this year and go to 10%. this was financial mismanagement that went on for a decade. and you know what? the president is doing his best to try to turn that around. now, that's my partisan speech. elections aren't about history. elections are about the moment. and you know what? one of the reasons barack obama was elected was people thought, yeah, he seems to be young and promising, but, boy, is he different than that bum we want to throw out. and one of the reasons why bill clinton was elected, and the same with jimmy carter. so it's a bipartisan feeling that we do this. i think, you know, it is a tough year for the incumbents. i think, just to pick up on, i think, what david and adam were saying, one positive sign for the democrats -- one positive sign is the election is not today. that's number one. [laughter] it's a while from now. because i don't think the president is responsible for these problems, but he owns them because he's the president.
and there's no getting around that. but the second thing that goes to democrats and republicans and where they are as far as figuring out what they want to do, what their leadership is. democrats have an advantage, that they do have the presidency as far as message orientation. you know, there's a lot of negatives there. but i think what's really interesting, looking at democrats, is the reaction to the afghanistan speech. fully 50% of the party in congress did not support that speech. but you know what? they're swallowing it and they're going to move forward. they're going to be with the president or the party. if you look at the midterm elections with republicans, there's more of a struggle. i completely agree with what was said about bob mcdonald. as a partisan democrat, it's the scariest thing in the world to me that these people will use common sense and take a candidate and emphasize his strength, which is exactly what he did, and he won. but you also had new york 23, where you had an election where republicans had the election
won, i think, and then overplayed their hand because there's part of the party that believes that being practical, common sense, doesn't make sense. you have to be over on the far right. and that struggle is going to play out over the next year. and your group may win, but they may lose, too, and it's going to be an advantage to democrats. >> i want to try and escape for a moment from an america, and exclusively an american perspective and lift this up. we've had the most extraordinary global recession. you might think that there would be political trends that you could observe around the world in response to that, that there would be either anti-incumbency or it would swing to the left or to the right or do something totally unexpected. it's quite hard to detect global trends out of this. some incumbents have actually gotten back in. we've seen the merkel government voted back in in
germany. and if anything, voters have tended to swing to the conservative end in the british traditional sense of the word, not towards the right. but to play the safe. adam, you track politics around the world, what do you see? >> well, i think there are some other trends. taxes, generally speaking, have gone up. certainly they've gone up in both britain and the united states. deficit, again, is for whoever wins the general election in britain is going to be a massive problem, and actually, a lot of the european countries are not that far behind. but, again, i -- you know, my feeling is that there is a certain kind of realization of the limits of what government can do certainly in the -- those countries where the government has assumed a bigger
role. i was at a public meeting with a member of cameron's team and they came out and said that was absolutely fantastic, because did you notice how nobody asked me for money. and what we're not hearing and what we probably won't hear that much over the general election, but will happen afterwards, is undoubtedly going to be not just taxes, which i think probably pretty much have reached their limits, but real cuts in spending. and i think we are going to see that across the spectrum. >> i think it's interesting, i talked to a very prominent person in american finance yesterday who said the real question around the world is what the hell is going on in america. so in asia, that's been the case for a while. china has had a sense of kind of growing american weakness for a while and as america's creditor, feels they've got more leverage over the united states, less inclined to, you know, be supportive on other
geopolitical areas where we need their help in iran, north korea, etc. lots of south america and latin america, things look up. europe is having a hard time and the united states is having a hard time. but the question, this person said, is what happened to capitalism. you know, this talk of regulation, that the bailouts and whatnot, there's just a real fear about where america is headed in this regard. you see that reflected in some of our major companies, too, who don't like the uncertainty about health care reform, don't like the uncertainty about energy policy, about tax policy. i've spoken to c.e.o.'s who say, hey, where is the impetus for economic growth? we don't see it in the united states. there's no real impetus for investment. this is a real point of contention right now, as the administration is trying to get the private sector jump-started to create jobs again, get consumers spending again. so i think one of the trends -- and adam spoke to the politics. but on the policy side there's
a real question about role of government, effectiveness of government with regard to the economy worldwide, and a lot of that is looking at the united states and wondering what's happening. >> i think it's certainly true that the outside world always looks to america, and particularly perhaps now at this time. but does america at all look to the outside world? we heard from peter david earlier on about iraq and brazil and elsewhere. you're going to be taken up with your own campaigns here. are there any lessons that you think you can pick up from other campaigns that have just been forged around the world or trends anywhere else? >> well, if you look at south america, maybe there is some lesson there. i know we just saw the bolivian elections. but take a look at what happened in uruguay last week in month veed yo, and the election of a traditionally leftist one-time terrorist guerrilla individual who then remade himself, committed to the voters of that country that he saw himself in the fashion
of governing like brazil, not like hugo chavez in venezuela. and i don't think anyone was surprised at the outcome of that election. and contrary to maybe some of the trends in europe and elsewhere where we may see a backlash and-day think in the united states going back towards the conservative end of the spectrum, i think that that election in uruguay points to the fact that people are going to elect leaders that can produce results for them. if you're good for people, if you're good for their life and is more in tuned with market-based policies from an economic standpoint that will recognize human rights and the defense of those rights, i do think those are some themes that perhaps can produce a somewhat different way. again, very much grounded, though, in what we like to call in virginia the common-sense conservative outlook that started way back with the founders of 18th century servants of jefferson, madison
and the rest. i do think you may see a trend again, deliverables spawned by adherence to these market-based principles of a limited government, but taking care of folks. >> i think conversely, you've got to avoid elections more and more, which will be one of the fallouts from iran and elsewhere. i also think that for next year there's going to be this growing trend. it's boring, it's organizational, but it's nonetheless very significant, which is the fact -- the view that the g-20 is now in a sense, the global economic regulator. i think that's going to be inescapable. i mean, it's a major shift in what was effectively the poll lar world, but the united states was -- >> two g summits next year, one in canada and one in south korea in the autumn, that it will be prominent. can i ask one final question? then we'll go to the floor. perhaps to you, joe lockhart.
europe, not something that perhaps people spend too much time worrying about. but there was the famous kissinger question, who do you call for europe. the europeans are now agonized for, what was it, eight or nine years over a constitutional -- well, it was no longer called a constitutional treaty, over a treaty, which has given them a so-called president and a high representative, in effect, a foreign secretary. but they've chosen people in these roles which charity eable can be described as people nobody has ever heard of. does anybody care about europe as a weight in the world, as an entity? has anybody answered the kissinger question for america? >> i think it's an evolving question. >> can you name the presidents of europe? >> eric can. [laughter]
>> i know who wants to be the president of europe. >> well, he didn't get it. >> i know. >> i think it's not a pressing question as far as america goes, because i think europe is a trusted place in this country. they think -- you know, we didn't agonize very long about going in head-long into military conflicts in europe in the last decade, because it was europe. while we young our hands, while there were exponentially more devastating genocide being committed in africa. and not taking a position, it's just a way of highlighting the deep connections between. so i don't think we worry much about europe. i think as europe integrates and becomes more powerful, we may over time, because i don't think the average american thinks of europe in the way
that europeans want to. >> actually, one of the concerns about the obama administration in europe anyway has been that he tended to take his allies for granted in focusing on reaching out to some of the parts of the world where relations have been previously more complicated. and there could be a reaction by europeans. and he's going to need allies in places like afghanistan. >> it's funny, because i think that goes to the previous question, too. i think one of the reasons why there isn't a trend right now is that the u.s. -- at least around the world -- is not as polarizing as it has been in the past, among both democrats and republicans, depending on the time. and electrics are getting decided on the ground, by issues on the ground, and not being influenced by cold war issues or u.s. diplomacy. i mean. you could go through europe and even other parts of the world and look at elections that turned on whether you were anti-american enough or whether
you were pro-american enough. and right now we have a president who's deeply committed to multilateralism. no one thinks they get enough time or attention from the american president, but -- and it is in some ways a positive and in some ways troubling, because the world needs leadership, and we're very internally focused right now on putting our own house in order, and that is potentially a dangerous situation. >> i just think there's a huge divide between europe and the united states with regard to strategic issues. i mean, there's been a change in orientation here about the war on terrorism, which this administration doesn't use. and peter in "time" magazine wrote something provocative about obama sort of downsizing the war on terror, compartment liesing it a little bit more, rather than making it as sweeping and broad as the bush administration did. but we covered our respective governments or p.m.'s at the
time, an seeing tony blair, the british public wasn't there at all. certainly not on iraq and not even on afghanistan as much. so you're seeing that. the notion of the nato alliance and maybe it's going to pledge 7,000 additional troops, you know, it's nice to have a coalition of the willing, but this is america's war. we're going to have 100,000 troops there. we own this thing. and the british, frankly, they've been there, seen it and said, no, thanks. but i mean, there's a view -- i'm not saying that they haven't been in afghanistan, but you're seeing more what you described, which is we just don't want to have a sustained commitment there. >> and i think oddly enough americans don't see the british as european. you ask someone, are these -- they don't, they don't. [laughter] >> let's go to the questions from the audience, who would like to ask? >> right here. >> yes.
wait for the microphone to come. >> oh, there's people here. [laughter] >> yes, could you say who you are. >> first of all, my name is ezra matthias. gregory david raised the point about the c.e.o. he was speaking to that talked about what's happening to american capitalism. now, i'm very surprised that -- i think it's a man who wrote a book on rogue economics. i'm surprised she's not part of the conflicts and globalization has unleashed problems that drove economics to go rogue, which is per primary thesis, ambassador i'm surpriseed that we haven't examined that -- and i'm surprised that we haven't examined that at all. >> that was more of a statement. let me go to the back there. yes.
>> i'm mark with, the foundation for job creation. my question is, is america's problem of not being able to create jobs, where does the lobbyists fit in? and are they interfering with job creation? >> where are the lobbyists? >> where do the lobbyists fit into this business of job creation? do they interfere with the process of job creation? are they perhaps helping? >> well, you know, i think that's a tough question. i think in the broadest possible sense, you know, even the best ideas get altered, and generally not for the better, because there are powerful lobbying interests in this town. and the lobbyists are very -- you know, they do well and their job is not to advocate for the public good, but to
advocate for the narrow, for their interests. and we still, despite, you know, the president running on a platform of let's take the special interests out of politics and government, it's still very prevalent. i think again, most broadly, i agree with republicans when they talk about the -- you know, the private sector is going to create the bulk of the new jobs. we don't want to create 10 million new government jobs. that makes no sense. what the federal government can do, both congress and the executive branch, is create conditions where jobs will flourish. we've had periods, the mid 1980's, that most of the 1990's where conditions were good and the private sector and the public sector worked together and jobs were created. we haven't seen that in a while, and that's really what we need to do. >> congressman? >> i'm not sure how to answer the question of whether lobbyists as a whole are
helpful or harmful to job creation. i mean, there are a slew of lobbyists, obviously, in this town, some representing big corporations, some representing small businesses, some representing labor, some representing consumer groups, and the list goes on. i think, again, the jobs for the party in power as well as the minority is to work together to produce an environment that can foster some job creation, as joe said in, the private sector, because i think deep down americans understand what's made this country prosperous, and that is the entrepreneurialism, risk-based investment that's characterized by the american dream. so if you talk to big businesses right now, i think what they say is too much uncertainty. as david said, we've got to do something. we can't have the uncertainty of card check, the uncertainty of cap and trade, the uncertainty of health care, the
uncertainty of the tax hikes that are embeded in the code that businesses don't know how that will play out. that is inhibiting investment. if you talk to main-street concerns, small ises across this country, what they're saying is we don't have access to capital. we need credit. if we're going to create jobs, we have to be able to grow and we can't do that without credit. all of this, i think, will play out over the year. how lobbyists intermingle with that, i think lobbyists are much more in tune with their specific client's interest, and right now i think what we're talking about is an environment that has been grossly unfavorable towards risk-based job creation. >> yes. don't know where to start. lot of questions. here first, and then -- >> hello. i'm roland. "the economist" predicted that nato might lose in afghanistan in 2010. however, representative cantor did not